Thursday, April 03, 2008

Item #83475 on List of Things I Did Not Know!

The things you come across when you type the wrong stuff into Google's search bar.

GREY GOO

Grey goo is a hypothetical end-of-the-world scenario involving molecular nanotechnology in which out-of-control self-replicating robots consume all living matter on Earth while building more of themselves.

The term was first used by molecular nanotechnology pioneer Eric Drexler in his book Engines of Creation (1986):

Imagine such a replicator floating in a bottle of chemicals, making copies of itself....the first replicator assembles a copy in one thousand seconds, the two replicators then build two more in the next thousand seconds, the four build another four, and the eight build another eight. At the end of ten hours, there are not thirty-six new replicators, but over 68 billion. In less than a day, they would weigh a ton; in less than two days, they would outweigh the Earth; in another four hours, they would exceed the mass of the Sun and all the planets combined - if the bottle of chemicals hadn't run dry long before.


Awesome.

If you had asked me, I'd have only thought of that flour paste that goes into orh luah. It's the only grey-colured goo I can think of. That and other inappropriately rude items which don't quite deserve elaboration. My sense of intelligence seriously undermined right now. By this episode, and also because I just had to check the dictionary for the spelling of the word 'perseverance'. That's a toughie, that is.

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