Why big business, politics, and science should be kept in separate rooms:
If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one. - Dr. W.C. Heuper of the National Cancer Institute, quoted in the New York Times, April 14, 1954
As illustrated again with the current global warming scandal, the lesson we must learn is that different types of ethics or principles -- what CRN calls "Systems of Action" -- should not be mixed. Each has its place, but when legitimate boundaries are crossed, monstrous hybrids are born and the results are invariably harmful.
This lesson becomes doubly important as we approach the nano era. When matter becomes programmable and physical objects can be created and copied almost as easily as data files, the possibilities of power -- and the potential for abuse of power -- will grow exponentially.
Nanotechnology offers great benefits to humankind and to our planet. But it also raises the stakes in the power game. If we allow players to be careless about boundaries, we not only lose the benefits...we lose everything.