From: Randolph Fritz <randolph@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 1995 10:20:51 -0700
> The news is a DNA-computer, not molecular mites slaving for
> us giants, or at least that's how The Times first reported
> Dr. Len Adleman's (of RSA crypto fame) work some months
> ago. This article reports on the boom since the initial
> skepticism of his unprecedented (sez the never-ever
> fallible NYT) work.
It was late & I over-reacted. Yes it's news is that we're doing
computation at the molecular level for the first time, true enough. But
the NYT reporter seemed so surprised. Molecular-level computation has been
one of the great hopes of nanotechnology for at least a decade--realizing
the potential of nanotech has always depended on using molecular
computation for CAD, though this seldom makes the popular articles.
> What interests me in this eenie-teenie-teapot is the biological (is
> DNA bio or statistical or mathematical or theological or
> Nobel-careerist?) computer, and the getting closer to each
> our own vat of head-goo -- oh my god, surely this is not a
> sneaky way to get us to go back to thinking for ourselves.
Yup. Unless (like Drexler) you expect in "strong-AI"--superhuman
> Will we soon carry a CPU in our hip-flask, while hanging
> from the parapet, sipping con-doc from a tube? Or a
> CPU-bean, finely ground, put under the tongue like snuff.
> Smoking a fag to inhale The Up-to-Date Design Word.
> Nicoderm patches on a worker for construction documents?
That dreamy quality . . .
> All my newbie-groupie musings on mega-super-duper-computers
> is about the the wondrous confabulations such devices
> inspire, especially if you are oblivious to their actual
> workings. The sales promo for these soft and hard
> mental-wonder-bras, by inventors, by corporations, by
> scientists, by venture capitalists, by nations, is
> stimulating sci-fi fare, very much like the
> linguo-philo-food we see here and cosmos-wide from our
> finest mind-fabulists.
It is indeed.
> For me, there is no sharp division between the
> hardheaded-mind goo and the lava-jar
> mineral-vegetable-animal versions. The latter just cost
> super-bundles more and thus create more jobs, taxes,
> careers and media puffings. We need to pump the cathedral
> builders of the day, no?
If only they were . . . Though to be fair, these are very cheap cathedrals.
It is interesting to speculate on the potential and methods of design using
artificial life techniques--the future, apparently, looks like a Roger Dean
> (We must keep it quiet, or you will pay career-dearly for
> suggesting Times-fallibility :^ )
I won't tell a soul . . .