Discussion Board

Topic: Question about The Third Industrial Revolution

From: Sean Van Duser
Location: Los Angeles CA
Date: 02/26/2009

Dear Mr. Bear
My name is Sean and I currently work as a Paramedic in the city of Oxnard. On my down time at the station I love to read sci fi. I am currently reading your book Moving Mars and I find it fascinating. The uses of nano technology and the integrated systems between man and machine "quantum logic thinkers" have been the most interesting to me . I have been reading many articles about the use of carbon nano tubes being used more frequently in industrial purposes. Do you know of any company that currently produces them in mass quantities, and if so have they gone public yet? I recently read Harry Stine's the third industrial revolution and wondered after reading why have we not set up the similar processes already. The one that stood out most in my mind was the use of a mylar sheath orbiting the sun to truly harness its power . I am 26 and I feel that moving from a type 0 to type 1 civilization "as professor kaku callls it", is with in our reach. What advice can you give to me and people of my generation in order to further the development of these systems and the private space technological industry?

Thank You for your inspiration!

Re: Question about The Third Industrial Revolution

From: Greg Bear
Date: 02/27/2009

Thanks for your kind words, Sean! I don't know of any sources, but there's a fine intro on Wikipedia that might start your hunt for you. And be aware--there are likely health concerns.


Re: Question about The Third Industrial Revolution

From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA
Date: 03/02/2009

Another "General" web-place to track advances in Nano Technology is


But one has to be quick since they went Pay-Premium a few years back: Many news items are free for the first few days after publication, but you have to $$ out for nearly anything archived.

Benefit of this: The discovers/papers are peer reviewed on Nature's site...and the news items point that process.

I've seen a mix of carbon nano tubes, tiny molecular motor machines, DNA used as a computing matrix, tailored viruses for gene insertion, etc. etc...and all stuff seen speculated about in a fictive context in Greg Bear's work going back at least a quarter century or more!

Hope that helps.


Re: Question about The Third Industrial Revolution

From: Greg Bear
Date: 03/02/2009

Access to NATURE Online is well worth a subscription to the paper version of the magazine, and can even be purchased separately, I believe...

Re: Question about The Third Industrial Revolution

From: patrick
Date: 03/02/2009

Well, you could look here (a sort of lark that panned out) : http://nanoworld.com/

Here's a companion to PhysicsWorld: http://nanotechweb.org/cws/home

Or just google 'nano', 'nanotech', etc.

Question to Greg Bear

From: J. Mailes
Location: Lancaster CA
Date: 03/03/2009

You mentioned in your original response that there are health concerns, I was wondering what were those concerns?

Question to Greg Bear

From: Greg Bear
Date: 03/04/2009

Carbon nanotube fibers may be bioreactive, and thus cause health problems if inhaled, ingested, etc. The data still seems to be mixed, but caution is certainly warranted.

Re: Question about The Third Industrial Revolution

From: little river
Date: 04/17/2009

There are people who have, for a long while, been working on bringing about this new type of age, who claim the only thing standing in the way are the economic and political models currently being utilized that rely on competition and scarcity to drive profit/progress. Decades of research into working alternatives have produced some amazing interpretations of how we could be living right now, using technology that already exists. Here is one such project: http://www.thevenusproject.com/

Re: Question about The Third Industrial Revolution

From: Greg Bear
Date: 04/25/2009

Cool-looking structures, but without dipping too much deeper, I have to say this site's philosophy seems a little vague. I've always been skeptical of solutions that insist we change human nature, rather than learn how to work with who we are. Can you give a two-paragraph synopsis of how this is all supposed to work? Thanks!

Respond to this discussion

GregBear.com is currently being updated and new comments to the discussion board have been paused until the new site is ready on September 6, 2015. Please check back then!

See Also...

Archives: [Oct-Dec 2004] [Jan-June 2005] [July-Dec 2005] [Jan-June 2006] [July 2006] [Aug-Dec 2006] [2007] [2008] [2009] [2010] [2011] [2012] [2013] [2014] [2015] [Current] [Search Blog Archives]