there is an interesting article at a longevity site.
It discusses what happened with Drexler and MNT.
The attacks on Drexler – and on advanced nanomedicine at one point –
were really quite beyond the pale. It was all a part of short-termist
posturing on the part of certain pigs scrabbling at the government
trough; pretty despicable stuff. Do prominent advocates for radical
life extension have this sort of thing to look forward to in the
An analogous scenario for scientific anti-aging research would be if
the moderates prosper – say that metabolic tinkering, an outgrowth of
calorie restriction research, expands into a large industry with the
real promise of 10 or 20-year healthy life extension. The industry
spawned by these moderates, bolstered by publicity and public
enthusiasm, then starts after major government funding … but they
decide that they need those darned advocates for radical life
extension technologies – far beyond 10 or 20 year increases – to go
away and stop scaring the fishes.
I think that a similar situation happened and continues to happen with space and many other technologies. The chemical rocket industry gained some success and potentially far superior approaches got shunted aside or receive little support. Watch now how the screwed up Space shuttle programs sucks the money out of all space research.
Nuclear fusion research got success in raising money for magnetic confinement. They get no commercially useful results, but they block others from getting any serious support.
Sometimes it is momentum and infrastructure issues: oil industry versus alternative energy.
We see it with nanotechnology. Carbon nanotubes, nanoscale tech, nanomaterials tries to block the consideration of advanced nanotech.
Some of the ways around this are
– going outlaw garage tech until enough momentum can be gained. (Apple computer versus IBM).
– X-programs for airplanes.
– Large funded Prizes.
What else can or should be done?
Is there a better model for society to follow to best advance
technology? Is there a way to get support and mindshare?