James P. Pinkerton
The article Will our capacity for destruction snuff liberty? said
But the continuing advance of technology has brought a new dilemma: Increasingly, any single individual or small group can wield great destructive power. If one were to draw a line over the course of history, from the first tomahawk, through the invention of gunpowder, all the way to the A-bomb, one would see a steeply upsloping curve…
Thanks to computers, that upslope is likely to stay steep for a long time to come, as artificial brain power doubles and redoubles. Techno-progress will be spread out across the full spectrum of human activity, but if history is any guide, then much “progress” will come in the form of more lethal weapons, including nano-weapons. Thus, the “suitcase nuke” that we fear today could be superseded by future mass-killers that fit inside a thimble or a single strand of DNA.
This article was written by
James P. Pinkerton who worked in the White House under Presidents
and George Bush. Since leaving government in 1993, he has been a
and TechCentralStation.com; a
contributor to the
Fox News Channel and a
regular on its
Jim has been a member of the board of contributors to USA Today and a Lecturer at the Graduate School of Political Management at The George Washington University, which is located four blocks from the White House and was created by an Act of Congress in 1821. He is the author of The Ultimate Lifeboat and of the widely acclaimed book What Comes Next: The End of Big Government and the New Paradigm Ahead. He is coauthor of the innovative Amazon download “I have a dream”: ideas for rebuilding American culture. His writings have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Fortune, The New Republic, National Review, and Slate, among other publications.
As a Fellow of the New America Foundation, Jim studies what he describes as “the single most remarkable phenomenon of our time: the collapse of faith in the future”. He does so by examining America’s waning interest in space and its exploration. Space may not be the final frontier for humanity, but in his view it should be the next frontier, as John F. Kennedy said. Yet it is a frontier we have been shying away from for more than three decades now. As a result, we have lost an opportunity for many political, economic, technological, environmental, and cultural breakthroughs.
Watch Mickey Kaus and Jim Pinkerton discuss space travel, nanotechnology, and human survival, with occasional references to An Army of Davids and Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity is Near.