Arnold Kling  

Various Technology Readings

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MIT professors on biosolar cells, life extension, and other hopeful technologies. The discussions are extremely terse, and for that reason somewhat unsatisfying.

Freeman Dyson writes, in the context of a review of William Nordhaus' book on global warming,


I consider it likely that we shall have "genetically engineered carbon-eating trees" within twenty years, and almost certainly within fifty years.

Apparently, a conference was held on the tenth anniversary of David Brin's The Transparent Society, one of my favorite books. Brad DeLong has the scoop, although some of his links don't take me where I expected to go. From the looks of this blog, I'm guessing that the conference was a bunch of smarmy left-wingers, kind of like this conference five years ago.


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Jim writes:
I consider it likely that we shall have "genetically engineered carbon-eating trees" within twenty years, and almost certainly within fifty years.

Climate scientists (Dyson is a theoretical physicist) do not consider it likely.

John Fast writes:

I'm sure that most smarmy left-wingers don't consider themselves smarmy, and in fact would consider that description to be an example of right-wing irrationality. (As Mike Myers said, "Pot! Kettle! Black!")

Do you think you can give a clear definition of smarm so that it is meaningful and identifiable? That way, although they may dispute the definition, they can't dispute whether they fit it.

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