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‘How The Schmirk Stole Nanotechnology’

Here's a must-read piece about the new nanotech bill, with a fun illustration, by popular demand on Howard Lovy's NanoBot:
"'How the Schmirk Stole Nanotechnology'
(A Fantasy of Science)
With abject apologies to Dr. Suess
by J. Storrs Hall"

Enjoy! and Happy Holidays from all of us at Foresight Institute. –CP

2 Responses to “‘How The Schmirk Stole Nanotechnology’”

  1. RobertBradbury Says:

    What really happened…

    Josh has definitely provided a masterful and poetic analysis of the situation. What remains undetermined is who is the Schmirk? In the photograph on Howard's blog, the Schmirk fills in for Mark Modzelewski from the NBA [Original photo is here.] Now we know nanotech is going to be disruptive and if one carefully reviews the NBA supporters they include some very old companies (e.g. GE, Catepillar, Lockheed) so one has to wonder whether they are involved to promote nanotech development or delay it (so as to protect their current markets). This feeds back into the fact that it seems very difficult to determine precisely who is responsible for the evolution of the study language in House 766 (which was generally MNT friendly) into the language in Senate 189 (which tends to be MNT unfriendly). One can only speculate whether there might be forces behind the scenes trying to delay the development of MNT.

    At the same time much of the commentary by Josh seems addressed to either nanogrant committees and administrators in general or scientists with clear opposition positions to MNT, e.g. Dr. Smalley.

    Things that make you go hmmm…
    Robert

    As I think the inquiries are temporary, I cannot give fixed URLs, but if one goes to thomas.loc.gov and types the bill numbers H 766 or S 189 into the "Bill Number" box and hits "Search" one can view the evolution of the legislation. Note that not all of the bill versions are dated and you have to understand the abbreviations and legislative process to make sense of it all. To the best of my understanding at this time — sometime between September and November of '03, the study text in Sec. 8b of H 766 morphed into the final text of Sec. 5b of S 189. How and why remains unclear.

  2. HLovy Says:

    Re:What really happened…

    Make sure you catch my Small Times magazine column coming out in the January/February issue. I explain what happened betweeen House and Senate. I have more, too, and I'll publish it on my blog after the print edition comes out.

    Howard Lovy

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