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"There was a time when one old eccentric guy with a notebook could do something important to science. Now even the resources of a major university are often not enough."
- Jerry Pournelle

Dumb Matter  
  Ordinary matter, with no nano-value added.  

See the opposite of this term - computronium.

""Mars is just dumb mass at the bottom of a gravity well; there isn't even a biosphere there. They should be working on uploading and solving the nanoassembly conformational problem instead. Then we could turn all the available dumb matter into computronium and use it for processing our thoughts..."
From Accelerando, by Charles Stross.
Published by Ace in 2005
Additional resources -

"Dumb matter" is one of those wonderful sf terms like ground car, inert-wear or static home. In each case, an sfnal idea is introduced, along with a related term for something commonplace you already know.

Check out the opposite of dumb matter - computronium.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Accelerando
  More Ideas and Technology by Charles Stross
  Tech news articles related to Accelerando
  Tech news articles related to works by Charles Stross

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