at the scale of 0.000000001


“The hot is the speed at which the atoms are jiggling; if they jiggle more, it corresponds to the hotter, and colder is jiggling less. So if you have a bunch of atom, like a cup of coffee or something, sitting on a table, and the atoms are jiggling a great deal and they bounce against the cup, and the cup gets shaking, and the atoms in the cup shakes, and the bounce against each other, so the heat heats the cup… what is spreading is just jiggling, an irregular motion, but it is easy to understand.”

– Richard Feynmann[1]



In the 1960s, going BIG was the future projection – megastructures, introducing the industrial scale to human habitation. As it turns out, as elaborately described by Mr. Feynmann, SMALL has become our present and immediate future. It’s simple.

Let’s say we have a problem X,

X = (jiggling patterns seen at nano level) (10^9)

If we find the pattern, then the solution is only a matter of logarithm


At MIT, a bio/nano research group known as “Self Assembly Lab,” discovers certain molecular abilities that would allow “disordered parts build an ordered structure through only local interaction.”[2] Just as a herd takes form by simply because each cattle takes its cue from its neighbors who then take their cues from their neighbors and so on, understanding this essence in behavioral patterns can lead to a much larger impact. Skylar Tibbits, an architect, biologist, and computer scientist, looks for ways to improve the construction industry by producing materials that have inherent “smart” nano attraction and repulsion properties that would allow them to build themselves into the intended overall structure. One of the projects is a series of three-dimensional disparate objects that, when shaken at random, can eventually realign each piece to form a consistent with each trial run.


As a San Francisco resident, surely since the 2000s, I have heard over and over again, the looming doom on when the big (quake) is going to hit! And now buildings are designed so robust as to withhold during a major quake to ensure safety through redundant structures and/or base isolators. Now let’s return to Tibbit’s experiment with the shaking of disparate elements. Can we design building components that would inherently “fixes” itself into the original form at times of major quake vibrations?



Since the [dot] com came into mainstream, storing the growing amounts of digital database becomes critical. Big Data, as they call it, has taken over the Earth’s “brain.” And as the storage of data shrinks the more efficient and effective they become – we are already at the verge of using miniscule objects such as the contact lens, ear implants, and even pills as potential data storage and transfer. Though however small the chip may be on my smart phone, off-site data centers are only growing in volume and quantity. As mentioned before, the era of mega structures have come and gone by the early 1970s and the era of nano structures are only beginning to scrape the surface. As the bulk of data are stored in offsite large data centers, can we potentially see the data storage as white noise (data that is stored within the molecular components of air)?

In a recent project, Matt Kenyon from the University of Michigan creates what he calls the “miniscule memorial.”[3] Rather than creating a large monument for the numerous civilian casualties from the Iraq War, he prints the names of the deceased into the molecular components of a yellow notepad paper along its printed lines. He stores these names on each sheet with the hopes that through writing letters to the government using the sheets will obligate the U.S. government to permanently store the names of the civilians within the U.S. records. Archives will soon move away from mega data center structures and begin to infiltrate our everyday space. Only a little over a year ago that Nicholas Negroponte hypothesized that knowledge can potentially be ingested.[4] As data storage moves toward the nano scale, pill-ed knowledge does not seem too far out into the future!

Perhaps we should all drink the potion and shrink into Alice’s Wonderland and discover the many hidden, yet real, patterns that exist at the 0.000000001 scale to apply at the one-to-one level.


[1] Feynman, R. (1983). Fun to Imagine. [Video file]. Retrieved from

[2] “Self-Assembly Lab.” Self-Assembly Lab. Web. 27 Feb. 2016.

[3] Kenyon, M. (2015, March). Matt Kenyon: A Secrete Memorial for Civilian Casualties. [Video file]. Retrieved from

[4] Negroponte, N. (2014, March). Nicholas Negroponte: A 30-year History of the Future. [Video file]. Retrieved from


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