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Why The Future Doesn't Need Us
Прислано Atec на February 29 2008 20:16:19
Книга только для ознакомления
. Ideas can't be put back in a box;
unlike uranium or plutonium, they don't need to be mined and refined, and they
can be freely copied. Once they are out, they are out. Churchill remarked, in a
famous left-handed compliment, that the American people and their leaders
"invariably do the right thing, after they have examined every other alternative."
In this case, however, we must act more presciently, as to do the right thing only
at last may be to lose the chance to do it at all.
As Thoreau said, "We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us"; and this is
what we must fight, in our time. The question is, indeed, Which is to be master?
Will we survive our technologies?
We are being propelled into this new century with no plan, no control, no brakes.
Have we already gone too far down the path to alter course? I don't believe so,
but we aren't trying yet, and the last chance to assert control - the fail-safe point
- is rapidly approaching. We have our first pet robots, as well as commercially
available genetic engineering techniques, and our nanoscale techniques are
advancing rapidly. While the development of these technologies proceeds through
a number of steps, it isn't necessarily the case - as happened in the Manhattan
Project and the Trinity test - that the last step in proving a technology is large
and hard. The breakthrough to wild self-replication in robotics, genetic
engineering, or nanotechnology could come suddenly, reprising the surprise we
felt when we learned of the cloning of a mammal