open source nanotech

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Andrew Hessel

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Sep 19, 2008, 11:35:03 AM9/19/08
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An interesting profile on MIT student Stephen Steiner, who wants to make nanotechnology more accessible to speed up the innovation process.

http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/09/making-open-sou.html

Christopher Kelty

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Sep 19, 2008, 12:27:38 PM9/19/08
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It might be time for me to de-lurk...

I've been watching this group because I'm naturally interested in all
new variations on open source and free software-- i've written a book
about it (http://twobits.net)... and in particular because I have
worked recently with some chemists on another version of "open source
nanotechnology"-- making magnetite nanocrystals in the kitchen:
http://opensourcenano.net The goal is not only to spread the love of
nano and open source, but because magnetite nanocrystals are really
good at getting arsenic out of water with a handheld magnet, and
making the synthesis of them cheap and easy could make it accessible
in a place like Bangladesh.

This may be the group that I'm looking for to give some life to the
project. One thing I've (re)discovered with the OS Nano project is
that established academics are both suspicious of the idea and don't
have the time to contribute to it because the incentives are wrong for
academic careers. My argument has always been that it is
non-university academics (i.e. DIYers) who might be interested... and
might actually want to get it working. So far, though, we haven't had
a lot of takers in the chemistry/nano establishment.

That being said, I'd be curious if anyone here wants to try making
magnetite nanocrystals in their kitchen, and helping to refine the
recipe we've started with. We have had other ideas as well... making
a universal water filter, building your own STM at home (lots of
people have done this, but there is no good central resource for how),
and so on.

I realize this is a DIYBio list, but I think the community of people
interested in expanding FOSS beyond software is small enough that it
makes sense to talk about it here... hopefully there will eventually
be enough people to make more lists or more groups.

I'm in Los Angeles, btw, at UCLA's Center for Society and Genetics...
if there are others in the socal area.

best,
ck

Bryan Bishop

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Sep 19, 2008, 12:57:00 PM9/19/08
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On Friday 19 September 2008, Christopher Kelty wrote:
.. a really awesome book, first of all. Go read it if you haven't.

> That being said, I'd be curious if anyone here wants to try making
> magnetite nanocrystals in their kitchen, and helping to refine the
> recipe we've started with.  We have had other ideas as well... making
> a universal water filter, building your own STM at home (lots of
> people have done this, but there is no good central resource for
> how), and so on.

STM schematics -
http://heybryan.org/instrumentation/instru.html
Also appears in http://heybryan.org/biotech.git

That's a 'central' resource, but nobody here knows how to use
repositories, despite everybody saying "open source". Why is this?

> I realize this is a DIYBio list, but I think the community of people
> interested in expanding FOSS beyond software is small enough that it
> makes sense to talk about it here... hopefully there will eventually
> be enough people to make more lists or more groups.

http://groups.google.com/group/openmanufacturing/ is worth your time. It
was opened up a few days ago just to continue some conversations from
http://p2pfoundation.net/Category:Design and a few other places that
are of relevance.

- Bryan
________________________________________
http://heybryan.org/
Engineers: http://heybryan.org/exp.html
irc.freenode.net #hplusroadmap

Bryan Bishop

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Sep 19, 2008, 12:57:46 PM9/19/08
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On Friday 19 September 2008, Andrew Hessel wrote:
> An interesting profile on MIT student Stephen Steiner, who wants to
> make nanotechnology more accessible to speed up the innovation
> process.

Sometime in 2007 there was an article about Drexler and Freitas working
on some nanomanipulator computational chemistry simulations. It wasn't
open source, but if you do some legwork, there's open source
computational chemistry packages already out there.

http://heybryan.org/mediawiki/index.php/Computational_chemistry

Christopher Kelty

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Sep 19, 2008, 12:59:39 PM9/19/08
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Bryan,

thanks! that's a great resource, (and a nice plug :)

just to be clear, just having a central repository is half (or less)
of the battle. The hard part is building a community that sees some
repository as central. Linux is not just a repository of kernel
code... it is THE repository of kernel code, even though there are a
gazillion variations. That's because it has a name, a history and a
group of people who shepherd it and protect it. I think this is what
OS nano and DIYBio need to think about NOW rather than later. It's
great to let a thousand flowers bloom and spread ideas, but open
source innovation dynamics only happen when lots of people feel like
they are contributing to a common cause or project... that's where the
big momentum comes from.

ck

Bryan Bishop

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Sep 19, 2008, 1:39:03 PM9/19/08
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On Friday 19 September 2008, Christopher Kelty wrote:
> thanks!  that's a great resource, (and a nice plug :)

I think I quote you on my site somewhere already re: Eugen Leitl, who I
had met previously through the extropian mailing lists and practically
everywhere else on the internet. I was trying to help out the Wikipedia
article on the concepts of transhumanism, but that didn't go over
smoothly. ;-) http://heybryan.org/transhumanism_def.html

[There are other, more relevant portion of the books re: diybio.org of
course, but since I have a moment of his time ...]

> just to be clear, just having a central repository is half (or less)
> of the battle.  The hard part is building a community that sees some
> repository as central.  Linux is not just a repository of kernel

And making it actually central, in an architecture sense, not in a
fooling people sort of way. The F/OSS architectures usually involve
mirrors, package/artifact maintainers, etc.

> code... it is THE repository of kernel code, even though there are a
> gazillion  variations.  That's because it has a name, a history and a
> group of people who shepherd it and protect it.  I think this is what

Kind of circular reasoning though. It didn't start out like that.

> OS nano and DIYBio need to think about NOW rather than later.  It's

'Commons' infrastructure is what needs to be thought about, yes? I know
Andrew Hessel and OSDD have been working on these things, for instance,
but it's not the final say on the whole story yet.

> great to let a thousand flowers bloom and spread ideas, but open
> source innovation dynamics only happen when lots of people feel like
> they are contributing to a common cause or project... that's where
> the big momentum comes from.

http://heybryan.org/manufacturing_ecology.html is a good read on that.

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