Sunday, January 06, 2008

Long-term impact of the molecular assembler

As described in Molecular Assembler Adoption and Molecular Assembler Impact on Society, while the initial roll-out of molecular assemblers may be the usual multi-year S-curve of technology adoption followed by a period of slow social change for adjustment to the widespread presence of molecular assemblers, at some point, social and political change will likely become more radical.

'God assembler'
The initial simple molecular assemblers may only be able to provide for basic survival needs but would presumably give way to ‘god machine’ assemblers that could produce health diagnostics and remedies, nanotechnology, sophisticated electronics including self-aware robots and any other required or requested objects of the time, as well as recycle unwanted material.

Societal organization
Right now society is organized around a variety of cultural groupings: family, education, work, interests (hobbies, religion, sports, alumni, community activity), and per political and geographical boundaries. With molecular assemblers, virtual reality and nanotechnology, there is no reason for these traditional groupings to persist. The work imperative dissolves. Political and geographical boundaries may become meaningless. Anywhere interaction occurs, virtual reality environments will be indistinguishable from physical reality and perhaps preferable in many ways.

In a mature molecular assembler society, what happens to the basis of physical location?
Existing land would still be somewhat scarce, but it might be possible to create additional land or stable novel residential structures in oceans, rivers and bays. For example, the Pacific Garbage Patch could be collected into a foundation for a vacation destination and a transportation, trade and conference hub between the U.S. and Asia (“The PGP Convention and Visitors Center is pleased to host CES 2020”).

Molecular assemblers and super strong nano structures could create much denser comfortable habitation on existing land (kilometer high skyscrapers) allowing existing and new cities to flourish and grow. The improved technology could also be used to easily build and inhabit many more environments. Removing physical proximity requirements for work, education and activities would allow people to fan out across the globe and eventually into space.


samantha said...

I am curious why you believe that groupings around activities, familial and shared interest would not persist after the advent of "god-machine" level assemblers. Various level of affinities would clearly still exist. The groupings might be much less physical and be virtually embodied and extend further. But the groupings themselves would seem to persist. Have I missed part of your intent?

LaBlogga said...

Hi Samantha, thanks for the comment.

I agree that people will still collect around affinities, just different affinities. Removing geographical proximity as a boundary will allow people to focus on higher order affinities instead of default associations like work, school, etc.