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Nanoscience, Nanotechnology, and Ethics: Promise and Peril

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What is the item that you selected?
What is the context of Kurzweil's discussion of this item -- what purposes was Kurzweil's discussion of it supposed to achieve?
What are the crucial passages in the text where Kurzweil discusses your item with the most clarity or depth? Please quote short passages and
crucial parts of longer passages.
What are the most important claims that Kurzweil makes about your item?
How clear is Kurzweil's discussions of your item?
Are there important questions that Kurzweil fails to address or addresses poorly? What else would Kurzweil have to explain to make his discussion
of your item crystal-clear?
Does Kurzweil's discussion of your item allow him to reach the goal or purpose you have identified? If so, what are the most effective things he does
to achieve his purpose? If not, what are the most significant weaknesses in Kurzweil's discussion?
Does Kurzweil's discussion of your item lead to important conclusions, questions, or calls to action?
Are there any interesting or important connections between Kurzweil's discussion of your item relate to ideas in Brooks, Clocksin, Joy, or in the other texts we have studied this term?
Does Kurzweil's discussion of your item have any practical significance for your life or for your relationship to or use of technology?


Solution Preview

I'll do the same here as I did for the Sandel piece.
As always, please message me if anything is unclear, or if you need me to expand on anything.

(By the way, his aside in the beginning about life expectancy is simply wrong. He's factoring in infant mortality. If you lived through infancy, life expectancy was about 68 or so. Life back then was not as miserable as he suggests - just a pet peeve of mine. However, it does bias much of his later analysis).

The two main concepts concerning technological change. Keep in mind for both concepts that it alters the very concept of time. As technology builds on earlier versions of itself, time accelerates. So, in the 20th century, we did not see 100 years of technological change, but, relative to the whole of human history, we've seen like 20,000 years of technological change.

Accelerating returns. The argument is that each new development adds new ammunition for later developments. Therefore, one step does not lead to the next. It leads to several "nexts" all at the same time. This just means it grows exponentially, not arithmetically. According to the author, this has the potential to grow infinitely into the future. The problems with this argument are so many that it would take a book to catalog them all.

Moore's Law. This is similar ...

Solution Summary

The solution examines nanoscience, nanotechnology and the ethics.