Charles Keefer's Blog

Freeman Dyson

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Freeman Dyson, who did brilliant work in so many fields that he won everything except the Nobel, wrote a book in 1997 that said the internet, solar power and biological manipulation would save mankind.

He thought we could achieve universal education by sun-powered, satellite driven internet stations in every Mexican and Peruvian village on the planet. He didn’t specifically mention Arab villages, at least so far as I have read, but I guess they qualified also.

He also thought we could biologically engineer trees so they would produce oil, or something like it, through their roots and put it into a pipeline we could then tap to feed our energy needs.

The sun, the genome and the internet will solve our problems, he postulated.

So how does it look a mere 13 years later?

Does anyone think installing solar-powered internet cafes in Afghan villages will bring those people a thousand years forward? Does anyone think we would turn our scientists loose enough to experiment with oil producing trees?

Is this science fiction, or is this just us too scared, or too knowledgeable, to move forward with ideas from one of the last century’s greatest thinkers?

Since I spent the day reading his book, I haven’t had time to research it.

Your comments are invited.

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Written by Charles Keefer

December 2, 2010 at 9:20 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Go to Pubmed type ‘biofuel’ or ‘biomass’ and you will get lots of hits, just no pipe-line trees, yet. Turn your scientists loose, set us free.

    Carol Keefer

    December 3, 2010 at 1:45 pm


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