Foresight and Futurism
I am a Futurist. I believe that as great as have been the technical advances within the last century, the next century holds vast promise and equally vast risk.
I believe that the US as a nation has given very short shrift to the concept of Foresight.
Please read the short essay, Why Futurism?
While we possess some of the finest minds with some of the best educations, still the nation is essentially run as is any corporation, concerned only with the next quarterly profit statement, and little heed paid to long-term results. We need to pay much more attention to long-term effects of our present courses of action and we need to stop reacting to events, and instead make events occur in reasonably-predictable good order.
We need to begin to anticipate the sciences insofar as is possible, instead of either reacting hastily to the inevitable arrival of the future, or dropping the ball and failing to react until reaction is unavoidable, and too late. The present debates on Human Cloning and Genetic Engineering and "frankenfoods" are all examples of the Future catching national policy taking a nap with its pants down. The eventual arrival of nanotech and sustainable compact fusion power should be the result of policy decisions made now, rather than unexpected earthshaking events to which no national government could react with sufficient speed without causing exceptional disruptions which might well be disastrous. These are merely obvious and easily-anticipated developments; we need more people at work trying to anticipate the non-obvious.
We must support improved education in the Sciences and related Arts, and we must begin promoting research and rewarding researchers. We went to the Moon once, and we will do it again, this time to stay.