Monday, April 07, 2003

Old Europe is a Senile, Luddite Biddy

Matt Ridley has a good piece in the British Guardian. Brief excerpt:
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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