The future is on the front porch, ringing the doorbell. I want to see an American political leader who calls for a cure, before the decade is over, for cancer.
Technology is accelerating so fast lately it feels impossible to keep up with – doesn’t it? If your answer is no then you aren’t paying enough attention.
In an age of explosive technology, many people are more anti-technology than ever. I feel their pain, man; our biological bodies and minds did not evolve for this shit. A barrage of nonstop information. A monkey sphere of thousands of individuals. The stress of the constant problem-solving associated with a damn smartphone. But I believe that the only way out is through. Global Warming, for example, is a problem caused by technology – and clearly, in my mind, it is only soluble through technology. We must solve problems. This is the philosophy of Popper and more recently championed by quantum physics genius David Deutsch. It seems clear to me that our only hope for life on Earth is to find explanations, solve problems, and shed our rigid prejudices; we should be especially wary of ethics that seem obvious.
Did you know:
…that researchers are experimenting with arthritis treatments that use nanotechnology to hide from a patient’s immune system? Think of the implications of that kind of technology.
…that someone has successfully encoded works of Shakespeare with DNA?
…that we are in the beginnings of automating medical care?
…that all those “this area of the brain controls the butt flexors” articles could be skewed? (This is generally when people say “Ha! Look how wrong and useless science is!” And then they bury their faces back in the tiny supercomputer that permeates every aspect of their lives.)
…that we have Star Trek medical Tricorders?
…the future is for guys like this who are going nuts with nanotechnology?
…we could soon be curing the paralyzed on a mass scale?
…certain lethal viruses may have met their match?
On May 5, 1961, Kennedy proposed to Congress that America land a man on the moon before the decade was over. We didn’t have the technology. It seemed difficult. Popular opinion was against it.
But we figured it out. We spent the time finding the explanations. We put our resources into technology. And we got benefits like the miniaturization of electronics, the most accurate topographical map of the Earth ever, lightweight composite materials, heart pumps, robots and robotic software, thermal protection blankets (used in firefighters suits), giant leaps in computer technology, insight to evolution and the environment, even ultraviolet protection suits for people with rare UV light intolerance.
In our current political climate, it seems almost impossible to have a leader that actually does anything. It’s all rhetoric.
I want a leader to come out and say “I propose to end cancer, once for all, safely and cheaply, by the end of the decade.”
I think it’s possible, interesting, and one of the most worthwhile pursuits in the history of man. At the very least, trying alone is worth it for the heaps of industry and economic benefits.