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« Nanotechnology vs. Climate Change | Main | The Students' Bottom »

February 01, 2006


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Given the inherent decentralization in current and coming technological innovation, perhaps the whole notion of top-down hiearchy in human institutions is on the way out. The way for society to adapt to and assimulate these advances is through bottom-up, spontaneous self-order in social organization.

Chris Phoenix, CRN

Kurt, we do seem to be beyond the point where top-down can be enough. But I'm not sure spontaneous/emergent can be enough either.

Keep in mind that there are several different dimensions to adapt to. One is security. Another is economics, which does seem to work best emergently. Another is lifestyle and sociology, which will probably take care of itself with a few exceptions such as addiction and perhaps adapting to new security measures.

So I guess security is my main concern. I know control-freak won't work. Is there a top-down that's not control-freak? Is there an emergent that explicitly tries to coordinate?


Phillip Huggan

"For example, a technique called DNA shuffling "allows for the simultaneous mating of many different species." This is not just proposed--it has already been used,"

C'mon, that is disgusting. Let's try to keep these discussions civil okay?

I recently discover an improved methodology for a quick response to an emergent Avian Influenza pandemic. Properly implemented, it would shave a day to a week off rapid reponse times, depending on the location of the hot-zone. I sent it a handful of people in the loop, no one has replied to me. If we can't handle natural biopathogens, the intentional ones in the decades ahead will overwhelm us.

Phillip Huggan

Governments tend to screw up these types of near-term emergencies: Egypt initially rebuked offers of naval assistance in yesterday's ferry sinking; USA failed to do something as simple as set up a central command post in the initial Katrina aftermath, and rebuked initial offers of rescue assistance; Russia rebuked initial offers of rescue assistance during her Kursk fiasco. Of course, these aren't the kinds of conditions a market solution can have any effect beyond stocking the product library central authorities have at their disposal.

This is a short-fall of democracy I guess. People are electing leaders into office who care little about the well-being of their populations. It is all a game when you have monay and citizens to burn, er, drown.

Raut Sndip

olease send me information about naotehnologys role in bioweapons

Phillip Huggan

Raut, I'll send you a nanotechnology bioweapon, but first you have to tell me what your planning on doing with it...

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