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« Fun With Electrons | Main | Fun With Organisms »

March 19, 2009

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Benjamin Abbott

If technology won't make things better, why are we pursuing it? Seems strange to devote so much time and energy to an activity that won't improve the world. Painting technology as neutral on balance strikes as the wrong approach. While I see no absolute objective basis for ranking desirability, I subjectively find scientific advances preferable.

The existence of knowledge doesn't mandate its scope of use. Problems such as global warming come from irresponsible employment of technology, not technology itself. With power over the natural world comes both greater potential and greater danger. The threat doesn't negate the benefit. No scientific law prevents us from shooting the quantifiable measures of human well-being into the stratosphere. If that's not making things better, what is?

todd andersen

The future is well a good question. I recall some trivial TV spot of 5 “cowboys” sitting around the campfire in 1901 talking a bought the future. I thought of the top 10 technical advances of the next century what ones could they predict. I bet they get flying but not DNA. I bet they get the car but the space shuttle perhaps not. I bet they get the bullet train but not the computer or internet.

So here we are a few cowboys sitting around are computers asking are self the same question what are the top 10 technical advances that change are lives over the next 100 years. I will make my list :) I am a little concerned as to the order of changes but here goes.

AI
Molecular Manufacturing
In home robotic voice interface labor
Space elevator
Organ printing
Life extension


Ok I got to 5 :)

The thing is that many will depend on other advances in other fields that impact diverse fields. For instance we could not have gotten decoded DNA with out the computer. So my list is pretty good, now guess what the other 5 are with the 5 listed above.

Todd

Chris Phoenix

Benjamin, we pursue lots of things that don't improve the world.

Technology can improve the world - if we use it well. Therein lies the problem.

Chris

x-ray fluorescence

Hi,

The existence of knowledge doesn't mandate its scope of use. Problems such as global warming come from irresponsible employment of technology, not technology itself.

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