It's newsworthy as it demonstrates how the "absurd" ideas that Drexler proposed more than 20 yrs ago, while still in many areas theoretical, continues to gain in relevance when discussing real science. To call it idle speculation ignores the billions of dollars in research and development that is happening now...obviously, right under your nose.
If it makes you feel more comfortable go back to Sci-Am articles about 10 years ago when Gary Stix published several stories arguing about the impossibilities of self-reproducing molecular nanotechnologies...sounds like your right in line with where his opinions where at that time, so I'd say you have some catching up to do!
Time to send them home.
I'm always surprised how few seem to share my idea that we need the U.N. more than ever.
If humanity is to thrive, at some point we will need a world order. Not...the frightening overseeing insidious world order we always hear about, but a governing world body that is based on Secular Humanism, Rational Thought, Reason based thinking & Transparancy.
The U.N. in it's current form proves only that one can have a great idea, and execute it poorly.
Now that we have the tools to spread rational thought and ideas and concepts to the far flung corners of the world, we should easily recognize the need to consolidate into one voice of reason. The United Nations could potentially do this while still representing our unique differences.
I believe this is the way governments are moving whether we like it or not-we simply cannot afford to ignore that fact that we live on the same planet, and it must be protected...almost as if we still need to prove to ourselves the VALUE of these things. We say to the contrary, but it's blatantly clear that we really doesn't know quite what to do with the insurmountable questions that religions present. This makes sense as we keep searching for answers to impossible questions just as after thousands of years, we continue to struggle with concepts like economics, nationalism, freedom,democracy & privacy, ecology, PEACE.
Sorry for ranting, really! But we need to stop being afraid. When that happens, all of the religious tomes will claim their rightful place on the bookshelf of humanity, right next to Mother Goose, and we can finally start asking ourselves WHY it is so hard to admit we have much to learn. When fear of the unknown no longer grips us we will pare down our incredibly long list of absurd belief systems-IE-Creationism just one example.
A united nations could help humanity to acknowledge our differences, embrace our uniqueness and agree to live peacefully. Think about it, whats the alternative? We could continue pointing all the fingers that we want, but we really only have ourselves, as humans,to blame.
Now, had you claimed that science can demonstrate sufficiently for all practical purposes that pottery and baskets are in fact very real then you might have had a point.
Not quite, just ask Pythagoras, who was thought to have said "wisdom is an art of mischief".