Wheels in Space
Wheels in Space whirling around our earth. Seven hundred mile an hour trains speeding through vacuum tubes deep below the surface. Trillions of molecular machines working to repair our bodies. Those same machines also working to convert our industrial waste into valuable resources for our future. Outposts on the moon, mars and beyond teeming with our off word citizens. Multidimensional holographic computers solving our impossible problems by extracting the subtle order that is hidden in the chaotic systems that encompass our world.
These are just a few of the things that we have conceived of that are already thought to be in the realm of near future engineeralbe technologies. So why do we not pursue these visions with vigor and purpose. Perhaps we have become too sheltered in our every day affairs to think of such grand endeavors. We may not what to commit the resources needed for pursuits of such fantastic scale. But why would not such endeavors produce economies of equivalent scale? What is holding us back from such great quests? We must not have enough money. But money is nothing more then a symbol of the resources we trade amongst ourselves. It is not actually proportional to our dynamic resource base. So if it is not the money, it must be the system. That system would be the economic system of supply and demand.
With a little imagination it is not too difficult to see, that if we expand our boundaries and improve our resource-harvesting technologies, our supplies could expand to limitless quantities. But even that does not guarantee that the demand will migrate towards the great quests. Though there may be a huge business and consumer demand for a faster microchip, there is probably insufficient demand for the development of industrial molecular machines. This relationship is precisely why we all have powerful computers on our desks while there is still no industrialization or colonization of space. So the question and the mission is how do we create demand for such wondrous technologies.
What do you suppose would happen if everyone in the world suddenly developed a burning desire to see a colony on Mars? They chose not to dwell on the question of whether it was possible or practice, they just wanted the colony to happen. My bet is that the Mars colony would happen ant it would happen in a hurry.
So how might we start the demand for an adventurous future? One way would be to create a grassroots demand for the things most likely to create that future. There are 3 things that come to mind that would accomplish such a task. The three items would consist of major increases in resources for pure science, key technologies research & development and cutting edge emergent technologies.
We would task a team of our most renowned scientist, our most successful innovators and our wildest thinkers to come up with a list of specific areas that we would concentrate the resources of our new imitative. They would base their selections on what would have the most impact with regard to crating an adventurous future while producing new economies of fantastic scale. This program would not address our most pending needs but would address areas of our wildest dreams and desires. If we were to proceed on such an imitative with unwavering intent, I am sure the resultant wave of innovation and prosperity would address our more immediate needs.