Tour by map

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There is something like a universal all encompassing timeless landscape of technology (an abstract concept). This landscape turns out to be very well suited to give a general overview over the various aspects of the field of atomically precise manufacturing.

Main article: "possibility space"; (1) R&D with (1a) untargeted research discovering more surprising pathway entry points (1b) targeted engineering marching forward on identified pathway entry points; (2) path, especially incremental path with three technology levels (2a,2b,2c); (3) target backward preparatory design (4) far off target: gem-gum factory; (5a) gemstone based metamaterials, (5b) advanced products and (5c) more abstract consequences (good and bad) hard to quantify and blurring into speculation -- (green areas) Exploratory engineering. (dark green) known today.

The landscape is about the range of fundamentally possible of technologies. The range of these possible technologies is determined by physical law. Under the assumption that physical laws do not change in time or space, the fundamental potential of technology too does not change in time or space. (Assuming unchanging physical law should obviously make sense for all practical purposes. Side notes of little relevance on that here).

Uncovering the fundamental potential of technology is thus not about predicting the future as one might suspect. It's about uncovering truths that where already there since the "dawn of time" (and which hold everywhere).

Specifically in the field of atomically precise manufacturing there is the unusual situation that some things that cannot yet be built or directly tested, can already be understood and simulated. Sometimes more reliably, sometimes less. Some major ones of those areas of investigation in the field of APM that feature this unusual situation are depicted as green "islands" in the landscape above. When isolating a strategy to maximize the reliability of such predictions one ends up with the methodology of exploratory engineering.

The big picture – Tour by map

(wiki-TODO: improve formulation; match up with main chapters - replacing "template:Orientation" -- WANTED: two colum info-boxes with minithumbs and maybe circled numbers ❶ ①)
Main article: "possibility space"
TODO: reformat to be more vertical and reformulate

(0) Introduction and overview

(1) Developing froward – current R&D

(2) Possible pathways

(3) Developing backward – preparatory design

(4) The far term target – kind of targeted manufacturing devices – core exploratory engineering

(5a) The targeted kind of materials

(5b) Products, and effects – benefits and risks

(wiki-TODO: maybe add 0$-OSHW sign to gem-gum-factory infobox)


Drift-off into philosophical areas: