A recent post on Next Big Future responding to Scott Locklin’s recent nanotech-smearing piece, Brian Wang explains why there has been almost no progress on molecular nanotechnology throughout the last 25 years — it hasn’t been funded:
Again there are people complaining that the vision of Eric Drexler was not realized after 25 years since he wrote Engines of Creation and other research papers on molecular nanotechnology.
However, almost no money was spent funding the research and development of molecular nanotechnology. Significant amounts of money were devoted to mostly relabeled chemistry starting in November, 2003.
Locklin (link to his site removed, since he is a flamebaiting troll) gets facts wrong and the target of his outrage is totally misdirected. The billions for NNI were hijacked for the falsely labeled nanotech starting in 2003. It is idiotic to blame Drexler, Merkle, Freitas when they did not get the money.
Locklin and people like him ignored what has been happening for eight years and allowed the funding to be hijacked for what they do not believe is nanotechnology. Now they have stain proof pants buyers remorse and are not satisfied with carbon nanotubes and the other non-molecular nanotech research. The proper response is to write to congressmen and senators to direct NNI appropriations into an actual effort to develop molecular nanotechnology. If after actually getting funding and work for 10-25 years, then there could be some comparison of progress expected versus results delivered. For now the results match the effort that has been performed. There are very little results from almost no societal effort. Your team did not do any laps in the Daytona 500 because you did not buy a car for your team or pay for an entry fee. Whining about it now, makes me ask – Where the hell have you been for the last eight years ? When you buy your SUV from Ford Motors do you send your complaints to Porsche or DeLorean about the race car you did not buy ?
Read the rest here.
I love when Brian Wang gets worked up about something, because the knowledge base he brings to bear in any rebuttal is really huge. All science and futurist sites of similar quality and quantity of information to his are run by teams, not a single individual.