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Friday, August 05, 2005


Bob Park, What's New
The Washington Post on Saturday had a little-noticed letter from Bruce Chapman, founder and President of the Discovery Institute. Director of the White House Office of Planning and Evaluation under Ronald Reagan, Chapman learned from the master. Facts are not important, what matters is conviction. "The only religious believers in all this," he writes, "are the Darwinists, who are out to punish scholars who see the weakness of Darwin's theory." And who are these scholars? This brings up another alarming trend, conservative think tanks manned by "scholars" who do no research, but spew out books laden with conviction.
Glenn Reynolds, the InstaPundit, says that "Lots of people want to know more about nanotechnology. The Foresight Institute website (here) is a good place to start." Well, apart from the fact that Reynolds sits on the Board of Directors of that particularly useless wanktank, I have no idea why suddenly people want to know more about microelectronics and materials science at this particular moment in time. I suppose one could conjecture that Reynolds wants to create a buzz and build up an audience for the likely book that he will write, with everyone keeping quiet about the fact that conservative think tanks manned by "scholars" who do no research, but spew out books laden with conviction don't have anything particularly relevant to say.

Bob Park, What's New
Tormented by fears of nanorobots turning the planet into "grey goo," and poisoning by genetically modified foods, Prince Charles fights science by embracing homeopathy, coffee enemas, organic farming, and now "biodynamics," which involves planting according to cycles of the moon and signs of the Zodiac. In a monarchy you are stuck with what you get, while in a democracy we can pick the best qualified among us to lead. But it's only a theory.

My sediments, precisely, at least the theory part. But Bush pushing Intelligent Design, Reynolds on Nanotechnology, Spewitt spewing on Blog technology -- no wonder the prince wants to cover his bases.

Update: Big Gav presents the same realization here, quoting Dan Gillmor:
Where are our business leaders? Perhaps, thinking in the trans-national way they do these days, they're figuring they can stay silent and let America slowly wither. After all, there will always be a huge supply of well-educated and ambitious people elsewhere, right? Well, that's a theory, anyway.


Professor Blogger SW said...

Whole lotta nano-snake oil out there right now.

9:54 PM  
Professor Blogger Big Gav said...

Well said - I like the Bob Park quotes.

And I like the "sediments" quip :-)

10:20 PM  
Professor Blogger Dream Builder said...



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12:59 AM  

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