User:Sapient cogbag

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Who am I?

I'm a transgender nonbinary person who is enthusiastic about nanofactories and decentralisation of manufacturing, and the radical socio-econo-political effects that they imply as long as they aren't hoarded by governments or corporations.

Name ⌬sapient_cogbag⌬
Pronouns they/them
Sandbox Page User:Sapient cogbag/Sandbox

Why am I here?

I'm enthusiastic about self-replication and highly decentralised manufacturing of complex nanomaterials. I want to contribute to progress on rapid nanoscale construction of complex structures, including doped semiconductors and nano-electro-mechanical systems. Further, I want to develop a bootstrap path from current technologies to nanoscale manufacturing capable of producing all complex components of itself with only simple inputs like electricity, H2O, CO2, N2 or O2.

My strongest priority/immediate goal is the production of computational devices, as the current fragility and vulnerability of those central supply chains is unacceptable to me (both in case of outright collapse of them, and in case of malicious attackers). I want open-design hardware to go with open instruction sets like RISC-V, and the only way to truly do that is to find a way for people to build their own computational substrate.

Right now I lack the material resources to do much in the way of building things, unfortunately. This means that my primary contribution will be trawling the ocean depths of scientific research and constructing potential uses that can combine into a practical design, as well as tentative schematics - both for the purposes of actual development, and in preventing such things from being invented elsewhere and then suffocated by patents.

My attention span shifts between my projects over time, which means my contributions may be sporadic. This is one of the reasons I want to contribute here, so others with more knowledge and resources can make improvements and refinements to my ideas or construct new ones on top of them even if I stop being able to. A more mild version of the "bus factor", if you will. I want to help get others to try developing more radical and more precise construction methods, by contributing to doing so myself.

End Goals

The desired endpoint for me is a Drexlerian style nanofactory, capable of building large scale 3D structures atom-by-atom. Realistically, I think the most likely way this approaches possibility is by partially restricting the materials to diamond-like manufactured structures. Even then, this would be revolutionary, because those sorts of nanostructures enable highly refined molecular filtering and nanofluidics, which allows rapid production of new assembly lines.

Such a thing is an intense engineering challenge, and I intend to tackle smaller pieces at a time as well as various other potential routes forward that allow nanoscale, but not atomic, assembly. Several challenges are related to avoiding things like contamination in a home environment as well as combining components to build new nanofactories bigger than their original creator nanofactory so that structured components can be combined with nanometre tolerances.

How do I view "self replication"

Different people have different ideas on measuring the "degree" of self-replication capability.

For me, the most important way to judge self-replication ability is the difference between the complexity of the structure of the inputs and the maximum complexity of the arbitrary patterns a machine can produce. This notion is related (but not the same as) the entropy difference between the input and output structures.

The most extreme sort of "self replicating machine" by this metric, then, would be one capable of taking raw hydrogen gas, fusing it into the elements required to make copies, then constructing it's copies with an atom-by-atom specification. That is, the maximum complexity of the input is very small, and the maximum complexity of the output is very large (and, in fact, sufficient to produce a copy).

Current RepRap designs are not yet capable of producing sufficient complexity to replicate themselves, because the most complex components are in the form of their semiconductor chips and they aren't yet capable of producing devices of that complexity without being given an input material of similar complexity (in particular, the chip that should be placed).

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