On June 26, 1992, at exactly 9:30 in the morning, K. Eric Drexler arrives unaccompanied at room 53 of the Russell Senate Office Building. Drexler's got a briefcase in one arm and a white cardboard box in the other. In the box are 50 copies of his prepared statement, a nine-page document headed, "Testimony of Dr. K. Eric Drexler on Molecular Nanotechnology before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Subcommittee on Science, Technology and Space." Drexler has been called to Washington, where he's come at his own expense, from San Francisco, to tell the country's leaders about his fabulous intellectual creation, his trailblazing new idea, one that, if successfully developed, would stand civilization on its head.
........This was called "nanotechnology." The robots were called "assemblers." Drexler was called "crazy." Or at least that was how some people regarded him the first time they heard about this radical new scheme of his.