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Radical Abundance by K. Eric Drexler

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CHAPTER 2

An Early Journey of Ideas

THE STORY OF NANOTECHNOLOGY stretches back more than twenty-five years and is a fabric composed of many threads, woven of science, technology, myths, achievement, delay, money, and politics. It includes the rise of ideas and their collision with popular culture, the rise of lines of research and their collision with fashions in science, together with promises made, promises broken, and the emergence of a renewed sense of direction. I’ve been in the midst of this story from the very beginning.

Nanotechnology’s promise, both real and imagined, has been shaped by its past, so to understand today’s choices and challenges we must begin with a look back. The story begins with the discovery of what known physical ...

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