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This site is no longer being updated, but remains archived. Disinfect, the most recent incarnation of Information Virus, can be found here. -e@l



September 12, 2003
 
Interdependence Day
     Interdependence Day is a call to action, asking citizens to celebrate global connectedness highlighted daily in the languages they speak, the news they read, the products they buy, and the cultures that shape everyone's lives, as well as the diseases that affect the world, the war and terrorism that beset peace and democracy, and the ecological threats that challenge human existence.

    
 
Patriot Gains (& Losses)
     Mother Jones
September 11, 2003
The U.S.A. Patriot Act, the largest expansion of government search and surveillance powers in U.S. history, passed Congress without much dissent soon after the September 11 attacks. Let's just say people had other things on their minds than the small print of a 300-page bill that John Ashcroft & Co. assured would protect us. After all, one thing we pretty much all agreed on after 9/11 was that we needed protecting.

Two years later, people are starting to twig that Patriot may take away more freedom than it shields. "May," because nobody really knows what the Patriot Act means in practice. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests about the law and its effects have been blocked or half-answered in the name of national security.
(more)

    
 
A Technical Commentary on Greenpeace's Nanotechnology Report
    

"The key point of MNT is mechanochemistry: the ability to make chemical reactions happen under programmed control. In theory, this allows a few reactions, applied in many positions, to build a large range of shapes. With careful control, and assuming a suitable chemical toolbox can be developed, a mechanochemical manipulator should be able to build shapes physically as complex as itself. Molecular manufacturing should provide a variety of advantages, including less complex fabrication, extremely predictable results, and strong, efficient products, that would more than outweigh the difficulties of working in this unfamiliar realm.

"As noted in the Greenpeace report, MNT has been associated with unusual amounts of hype. Early discussions asserted the ability to do almost anything that was theoretically possible with chemistry. The unfortunate phrase 'universal assembler' was coined, and rapidly attacked as being unworkable or at least too difficult. Descriptions of MNT-built products usually did not specify what sort of chemical assembly was to be used in making them, which lent an air of unreality to the whole topic. Public debate has largely stuck there, obscuring the fact that much research has been done since that time."

--Chris Phoenix, CRN's Director of Research


    

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