It’s taken a week, but finally someone other than us has made a sensible comment on the Magic Nano bouhaha.
The Economist gives a clear and concise overview of the issue, it’s solution and the fact that the “publicity about Magic Nano–in particular, that it provides as much as six months’ antibacterial resistance to bathrooms–has brought Kleinmann more business than ever”
The mere mention of ‘nano’ has sent the various pundits into a tizzy. David Berube warns that it is “a wake-up call that the potential risks of nanotechnology are real and deserve more attention by both government and industry,” while Glenn Reynolds takes the ‘Nanotech industry’s’ PR strategy to task (so the NanoBusiness Alliance is to blame?), and complains that the ” industry — afraid of spooky, Michael Crichton-esque scenarios involving advanced nanotechnology that tries to take over the Earth — decided to pooh-pooh the prospects for advanced nanotechnology, and play up less scary near-term quasi-nanotechnologies like coatings, sensors, and nanomaterials.”
Howard Lovy at the reincarnated Nanobot modestly takes the credit for Glenn Reynolds piece, and echoes the theme that a bunch of small time German businessmen are cheapening the name of nanotechnology and threatening to derail the molecular nanotech train. It’s an odd metaphor, we would assume you would have to build the train first before it could be derailed (for more on TCS. Foresight, frozen heads and the rest, we can recommend “In the Shadow of Mt Hollywood.”
So in summary, as a result of a bad batch of some anti corrosion liquid, everybody from the Foresight Institute to the FDA has been getting worked up about the possible dangers of naotech. It has been, quite literally, a storm in a toilet bowl.