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What our real goal should be

Posted by: Michael Mandel on August 17

Here’s some more from author and scientist David Brin, a very smart man.

many of our machines consume copious resources, exactly as a human servant would. Hence the multiplier effect of how vastly more resource-hungry an american household is, compared to others around the world. For this reason, we are behooved, obligated, to expend a large portion of our surplus on research to make all servant machines vastly more efficient. Only thus could it ever be possible for everyone on the planet to enter the diamond-pinnacle of citizen-humans, living in relative decency.

And he goes on to say…

In fact, modernism should impel any reasonable person to pull out the stops on efficiency research, almost above any other priority. It should be the top imperative, a goal driven by sure knowledge that our childrens’ lives and comfort will depend on vastly muliplying wealth while reducing resource impact by two orders of magnitude. There should be a dozen “Manhattan Projects” aimed at achiving this sustainability goal - including the resumption of building modern and improved nuclear power plants. (Aha! Brin swerves and delivers a kick to the LEFT!)

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Reader Comments


August 17, 2005 03:33 PM

I think efficiency will prove to be much more successful than alternative energies but we may also have to change our ideas on wealth and standards of living. Bringing back horses may be an improvement.


August 17, 2005 03:54 PM

I wouldn't want to own one of those McMansions when the price of energy doubles. Think about the heating bill!

Mike Reardon

August 22, 2005 01:40 PM

I think we are now, competing in a Dutch auction with the whole world, and they can deliver equal creativity, talent, services, and products at a lower wage cost than we can, to the same customer. World class architect or car maker, from a lower wage base for equal product to the customer, the customer will pick lower price for the same talent. We are all gaining access to cheaper imported products, and services. I think our investing in local service employment, that can not be exported, is the base we will be building on. That is even more to the left, government investment in national services.

Thank you for your interest. This blog is no longer active.



Michael Mandel, BW's award-winning chief economist, provides his unique perspective on the hot economic issues of the day. From globalization to the future of work to the ups and downs of the financial markets, Mandel-named 2006 economic journalist of the year by the World Leadership Forum-offers cutting edge analysis and commentary.

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