The Expanding Frontiers of Computing

Posted on Thursday, January 5th, 02012 by Alex Mensing
link Categories: Long Term Science, Technology   chat 0 Comments

Advances in computing technology have led to increasingly powerful devices – a cell phone can now do what early desktop computers did not even approximate. But these developments have largely been in the form of devices, objects made of silicon and plastic. Stanford bioengineering professor Drew Endy imagines, in a New York Times article, another frontier for computing, where computers with even a tiny amount of processing power would be useful.

…what if such computers could be installed inside every cell of your body? What if these computers were used to keep track of how many times each of your cells divided, forming the basis of systems that could track and control aging, development and cancer?

In his 02008 talk in The Long Now Foundation’s SALT series, Endy begins: “I want to develop tools that make biology easy to engineer.” While his article mentions that he and his colleagues have not yet been able to program a “genetically encoded eight-bit counter,” research does suggest that it is possible.

So the future of computing need not only be a question of putting people and things together with ubiquitous silicon computers. The future will be much richer if we can imagine new modes of computing in new places and with new materials — and then find ways to bring those new modes to life.

  • Brandondardano

    thank you thank you it makes so much sense. everyone is like SILICON SILICON. BRAINWASHED, CONSUMED, SUBORDINATED  BY A SINGLE ELEMENT WITHIN THE SPECTRUM. we have invented nothing in the past decades!!! Only frivolous microinnovation (which is okay, but we need MACROinnovation)!

     I SEE ENDLESS REPRISE OF THE SAME ENTERPRISE

     the Turing machine is not the final WHEEL/LANGUAGE/BOOKS

    there is a universe of infinities that we must seek to ascertain. INFINITY IS ONLY WHAT WE DO NOT YET UNDERSTAND!!!

     In my likely ignorant, uninformed of the full extent of this propagated corruption, 22 year old’s vision; THE FUTURE IS THE HYBRIDIZATION OF SYSTEMS. systems of systems that just interact. we have made the “cell” now we must combine the cells to tissues. we must combine different technologies in new and different ways to make “organs”, and “organ systems”. (I’m not talking about biological matter per se, merely the reorganizing of preconceived thought of what is possible and “Combinatory–{(Meta)(para)|(para)(meta)}–analysis”

    my most recent question (posited by Brandon Dardano): Apparently, Rockets are the most effective type of system that can go to space and escape the earth.Balloons and jets simply cannot go into space.

    HOWEVER THIS IS THE CRUCIAL; THE AXIOM; THE CRUX (of which i see much lack of knowledge within all those that i have ever known or heard in any medium)

    I DONT CARE ABOUT PAPER. I CARE ABOUT PEOPLE. FUCK MONEY. LETS BUILD TOMORROW, YESTERDAY!

    WHY can’t attach a giant BALLOON to a rocket and then have the rockets boosters engage once the BALLOON reaches a certain height? (In theory, that would significantly reduce the amount of fuel needed to reach space, and indeed a popping balloon would be unlikely to damage homeostasis within the lpanet, wouldn’t it?)

    WHY can’t we make a giant robotic factory that BUILDS robots that can BUILD factories?

    WHY Is the HIGGINS Particle REALLY so important? ARENT WE ALREADY TOO FOCUSED ON SILICON, LIMITED TECHNOLOGY, AND PRIVATIZING KNOWLEDGE?
    SERIOUSLY, LOOK AT WIKIPEDIA, LOOK AT GOOGLE, LOOK AT ALL THESE SITES THAT ARE “SELLING KNOWLEDGE”

    HOW can you SELL KNOWLEDGE?

    Maybe W(I)E {a(m)re}||(are(m)) missing the obvious here.

    WHY can’t we go to mars and build a giant self sustaining ecosystem encased in a giant sphere?

    WHY CANT WE JUST STOP BANTERING ABOUT POLITICS AND EXPAND TO THE EDGES OF THE UNIVERSE (at LEAST the universe of our potential!!)?!?!?

    WHY CAN’T WE JUST LET THE PEOPLE OF EARTH AND ALL OF IT’S CONSTITUENTS LIVE IN PEACE?

    WE HAVE THE FOOD: WE CAN MAKE GIANT PUMPKINS THAT MAKE SEEDS I’M SURE WE CAN FIGURE OUT HOW FEED PEOPLE CONSIDERING WE ALREADY HAVE MORE THAN ENOUGH FOOD.

    WE HAVE THE SHELTER:  (within reason) EVERYONE ON EARTH HAS THE CAPACITY TO LEARN HOW TO BUILD A SURVIVABLE SHELTER)

    WE HAVE THE RESOURCES: THE POWER OF THE ATOMIC; THE BOMB THAT ENDED ALL WARS (EXCEPT COMPLETELY FRIVOLOUS ONES THAT DO NOT SERVE ANY REAL FUNCTION BEYOND CAPITALIST EXPLOITATION AND CORRUPTION)

    WE HAVE THE MEDIUM: WE CAN COMMUNICATE INFORMATION TO ANYONE ON THE INTERNET, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, WHATSOEVER; (DON’T WE THROW AWAY ENOUGH COMPUTERS TO JUSTIFY THE POSSIBILITY OF HAVING ONE FOR EVERY HUMAN ON THE PLANET?)

    LETS STOP TALKING ABOUT JUSTICE AND START JUSTIFYING

    LETS STOP TALKING ABOUT FREE(DOM) AND BE FREE(SMART)

    LETS MAKE THIS WORLD BE BETTER THAN THE MAGIC THAT IS CORRUPTION!

    HOW HIGH UP DOES THIS CORRUPTION GO? DOES IT EVEN MATTER? ILL TALK TO THE MOST POWERFUL PERSON IN THE WORLD, AND I KNOW SOMEHOW THERE IS A WAY TO CONVINCE THAT PERSON TO CHANGE TO THE POLICY THAT BRINGS PEACE, BECAUSE THAT PERSON IS A PERSON, AND INHERENTLY HAS SOME KIND OF INTEREST IN “PEOPLE”, EVEN IF THE ONLY PERSON HE IS INTERESTED IN IS HIMSELF! IF NOT, THEN LET HIM GO KILL HIMSELF FOR HIS TRUE LACK OF CARING IN WHAT IS HUMAN (I.E. HIMSELF)!

    again, what do i know? i’m 22, and i’ve seen more blood and violence on a tv screen than i ever care to imagine there ever being again(or ever in the past) in this world. It (perhaps information technology) says let it all be myth. The millennium is upon us, so why are so many just going through the motions of an obsolete age! (really, work? seriously? the “economy” “government” why can’t we can just get robots to do pretty much everything necessary for survival (heck, even legislature) and focus on real development?)

    THE SILICON IS THE SILLYCONE LOL

    maybe i’m a madman, but i’d rather at least attempt to see the reality of the world than submit to endless cycles of denial, false attribution, and “misnomerized propaganda”.


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