Tuesday, September 16, 2008

How True, Dr. Asimov

I am now re-reading Isaac Asimov's The Gods Themselves published in 1972. The events in the book take place in 2100 AD. A maverick scientist is warning a resistant establishment about his discovery of the dangers of Inter-Universe Electron Pumping, a new found supply of abundant free and clean energy that had revolutionized humanity. He wanted it abandoned. This is his exchange with a senator in the International Congress.

"It is a mistake," [the senator] said, "to suppose that the public wants the environment protected or their lives saved and that they will be grateful to any idealist who will fight for such ends. What the public wants is their own individual comfort. We know that well enough from our experience with in the environmental crisis of the twentieth century. Once it was known that cigarettes increased the incidence of lung cancer, the obvious remedy was to stop smoking, but the desired remedy was a cigarette that did not encourage cancer. When it became clear that the internal combustion engine was polluting the atmosphere dangerously, the obvious remedy was to abandon such engines, and the desired remedy was to develop non-polluting engines."

Inter-Universe Electron Pumping is not a danger to humanity as MANBEARPIG is though :).

3 comments:

bashar said...

hear hear

Maha said...

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Maha said...

Hello Firas Wehbe

I came across your blog from Lebanonheartblogs. I'm currently doing an exploratory research on blogging in Lebanon for my PhD degree at the University of Westminster, UK. I would really appreciate it if you could take a few minutes of your time to fill out this questionnaire in order to help me find out more about blogging in these two countries. Your replies are crucial to helping in my evaluation. Most people are able to complete the questionnaire in less than 8 minutes. Please pass on the link to other bloggers (even if they have not been blogging for a while) and put it on your blog if possible.

Please note that your responses and any comments will be treated with the utmost confidentiality and your annonymity will be granted throughout my analysis. If you have questions at any time about the survey or the procedures, please do not hesitate to contact me at mahataki@gmail.com.

I have two versions: One in english and one in Arabic. Please only fill out the one of your language choice, they are identical.

English version:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=ga_2f1i2evTudF5QgJDGWXow_3d_3d

Arabic version:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=XxEzT1inehCPe3BKOqjYDw_3d_3d