April 16th, 2003

bswing

Matt Ridley on the Risks of Caution

Via Jerry Kindall:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/life/opinion/story/0,12981,928170,00.html

We've never had it so good - and it's all thanks to science

Acclaimed author Matt Ridley on why it's high time we cheered up about the new technologies

Thursday April 3, 2003
The Guardian

If you debate the new genetics in Europe and America these days you get asked the same question in two different ways. The average European says, with dread: "How do we stop people doing x?" The average American says with excitement: "When will I be able to do x?" For x, read "test myself for future dementia risk," "change my unborn children's genes," or even "fill my blood vessels with nano-robots to enable me to live to 150".

To the jaded European palate, the American attitude seems silly and irresponsible. Caution should be the watchword for all new technology. I beg to differ. I think the American optimism is necessary and responsible. It is the European pessimists who are in danger of causing real harm. Caution has risks, too.

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