RE: NANO: _Forbes_ cover story

From: Reason (
Date: Sun Jul 15 2001 - 12:08:00 MDT

> >From the caption to this article:
> "Scientists are re-creating our world in the realm of the intensely
> tiny. The potential payoff: denser hard drives, smaller chips, better
> medicine."
> Why does providing better hard drives even belong in the same sentence
> as "better medicine"? This is a perfect example of why capitalism
> will probably take a long long time to do the things we need to have
> done in order to stay alive.

>From the capitalist point of view, hard drives are an easier way to make
money than medicine. It's a more predictably market sector. Capitalism is
not perfect, but it gets the job of technological advancement done a hell of
a lot better than any of the alternatives. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs
to read more history and look at the world a little more objectively.

[Which is not to say that a completely managed society wouldn't work better
at some stage in the future when we have the computing power to usefully
simulate and predict the effects of management...but we don't right now,
which means that any attempt at management will almost always make things
worse, not better].

Bigger, better, faster computers are one of the lynchpins of our rapid
technological advance as a society. The better medicine won't happen without
those computers to perform protein folding and molecular process


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