I’m in California, where the Foresight Institute’s Vision Weekend has just finished. I gave a talk, outlining my thoughts about where the soft approach to nanotechnology might lead in the longer term. This was received well enough, though I’m sure without convincing the whole audience. This weekend is supposed to be off the record, so I’ll not give a blow-by-blow account. But one curious thing, which is in principle already a matter of public record, is worth mentioning. If you had looked at the program on the web last week you would have seen that a debate between me and Ralph Merkle about the viability of soft vs hard approaches to radical nanotechnology was scheduled. This debate disappeared from the final version of the program and never happened, for reasons that weren’t explained to me. Maybe this was just a result of the difficulty of trying to fit in a lot of speakers and events. Nonetheless it seems a pity that a community that often complains about the lack of detailed technical discussion of the proposals in Nanosystems didn’t get the chance to hear just such a debate.