“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."
Co.Exist reported on the work of MIT scientist Skylar Tibbits, who is trying to turn 3D printing materials into self-replicating entities. Taking a page from microbiology, Tibbets is experimenting with self-folding proteins that react in a predetermined way to an outside stimulus.ReplyDelete
For example, by magnetizing tiny fibers in a specific pattern, the material could snap into a particular shape when it’s immersed in water or is electrically charged. The hope is that future building materials could be programmed in this way to react to certain situations and adapt to changing weather conditions.
In another corner of MIT, other researchers are analyzing the behavior of silkworms to discover how they are able to produce such strong materials that have such varying degrees of rigidity. According to Dezeen, MIT’s Mediated Matter Group is tracking the movements of silkworms — essentially mobile biological versions of today’s additive manufacturing 3D printers — to unlock the secret to how they can create such complex and efficient structures, like cocoons, by making subtle changes in the thickness and density of their silk.