Thursday, July 06, 2006

Sad to look back on admonitions for the future that have been ignored

In 2000, Bill Joy, creator of much we take for granted in cyberspace, wrote a very very long article in Wired about the challenges of the 21st century. He saw GNR (Genetics, Nanotechnology, and Robotics) as presenting uniquely promising benefits but also horrifyingly dangerous consequences. He had hopes that scientists would step up and accept the responsibility for their actions.

Bill Joy in Wired, circa 2000.:
"Verifying compliance will also require that scientists and engineers adopt a strong code of ethical conduct, resembling the Hippocratic oath, and that they have the courage to whistleblow as necessary, even at high personal cost. This would answer the call - 50 years after Hiroshima - by the Nobel laureate Hans Bethe, one of the most senior of the surviving members of the Manhattan Project, that all scientists 'cease and desist from work creating, developing, improving, and manufacturing nuclear weapons and other weapons of potential mass destruction.' In the 21st century, this requires vigilance and personal responsibility by those who would work on both NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Computational) and GNR technologies to avoid implementing weapons of mass destruction and knowledge-enabled mass destruction."
I bet he's aghast at the way things have transpired since then.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Web Site Counters
Staples Coupons