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« Turning Nano Into Dollars | Main | Worse Than Gray Goo »

February 23, 2004


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Mr. Farlops

Frankly, I've never been too worried about religiously or politically driven bans on research in either of these areas, rejuvenation or molecular manufacturing.

Controversial research like biotechnology, and soon molecular manufacturing, generates a lot of heat and noise that hardly ever changes any minds. And often people with fixed misconceptions that they refuse to clear up, remain with those misconceptions. Look at nuclear energy. Sixty years later and people still have misconceptions about it. Life extension and MNT will be the same. After the debate, usually, as individuals, we end up right back where we started from and the technology happens anyway.

And often people, even those with devote beliefs, undergo enormous intellectual contortions and contradictions when these issues affect them personally. The recently deceased Strom Thurmond, hardly a big fan of science, had a daughter with juvenile diabetes and despite his vocal opposition to abortion did support embryo research.

Political appointees like Leon Kass don't really matter a jot if the pharmaceutical, energy and other large companies decide to use their money to overturn bans or regulation they don't like. Or they'll just move operations to a country were the laws are too their liking.

Then there is the military angle. The United States has always been very concerned about being the acme of military technology in the world. Our weapons are the most advanced and we spend staggering amounts of money to see that they remain that way. If a politician comes to power with a strong moralistic agenda, it won't matter. Once the military leaders make it plain that bans on nanotechnology research will hurt weapons development, guess which agenda gets trumped?

As someone said about nanotechnology before, "good luck trying to stop it."

However in the short term a lot of time and money will be wasted as we collectively decide what to do. The trick is to figure out which political players really matter and sway them so that policy works out the way MNT advocates want. The rest can be safely ignored.

Janessa Ravenwood

Sorry for not getting back to some people here recently, have been mega-swamped at work.

However, I wanted to raise something NOW, and with this "Regulatory Damage" entry the timing seems disturbingly apropos.

A major assault against my primary cryonics provider, the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, is currently underway in the Arizona State Legislature. Rep. Stump – who I think is owned by the funeral industry – is trying to regulate them out of existence.

If you oppose this sort of life-extension-prohibition legislation, I urge you to go to www.alcor.org and see the detail and to see how/where to write the AZ legislators behind this. I think the lobbying is making a difference from the reports we’re getting, but we need to keep it up.

Thank You

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