The Shrinking Nanotechnology Blog Universe

When IEEE Spectrum was about to launch its new and improved website, they asked the blog contributors to list some of the external blogs they read so links could be provided.

Among those that I provided were Howard Lovy's Nanobot and the Blog@Nanovic both of which have officially signed off as active blogs after I suggested we provide links to them. Even the latest entry in Richard Jones' Soft Machines blog, which I have linked to as well, seems to indicate that posts might be few and far between in the near future.

Other blogs that I used to frequent on the subject of nanotechnology have long since stopped posting or have been transformed into something else entirely, such as the evolution of the NY Times Bits blog under Barnaby Feder  which covered nanotechnology to what it is today, another computer lifestyle blog.

With this ever-dwindling number of blogs on the subject of nanotechnology, the idea was beginning to dawn on me that maybe this all signified something about the field of nanotechnology in general. I am not sure what the significance or meaning might be. Maybe it only indicates that each blog had to shut down due to completely different circumstances and pressures.

Nonetheless I was struck by the way Howard Lovy gave his adieu: "I am proud of the way this blog became a voice for those who believed government and business was taking nanotech in the wrong direction."

Without taking too much of a leap, I believe the "wrong direction" Mr. Lovy is referring to is what some saw as the marginalization of molecular manufactuirng (MNT) proposed by Eric Drexler and instead moved towards material science on the nanoscale.

If that was indeed Mr. Lovy's raison d'etre for his blog, he can take comfort in the knowledge that Eric Drexler has just been quoted as saying "Real nanotechnology is getting closer" and Drexler himself has picked up the baton of bringing MNT into the mainstream with his own website.

Still, while nanotechnology continues to go through a rather awkward period, it would be good to have as many voices as possible informing its development.

 

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