Has Anyone Read Bill McKibben's "Enough?"

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by thrawn, Jan 11, 2005.

  1. thrawn

    thrawn Member

    Has anyone read the book "Enough" by Bill Mckibben? Its an interesting take on the ethical, and scientific boundaries, of GNR (Genetics, Nanotech, and Robotics) I suggest it to anyone who hasnt read it, and to anyone who has, what are your thoughts? Does McKibben go to far in his arguments, is he a modern day luddite? Or is he someone who sees the danger in GNR?
  2. He see's the danger.

    To be honest I have not read the book -- but now that you've mentioned it I'd like to.

    I have heard him speak at a conference about the same subject though. The guy is right on in my opinion.
  3. Zanman

    Zanman Member

    I am not familiar with the guy. What are his arguments?
  4. Rather then speaking for him . . .

    I'll post a link to an mp3 of his talk that I have.... i'll try and do it tonight..
  5. thrawn

    thrawn Member

    Hey Yogi,
    That link sounds interesting if you still have it. Im sure if the members of this forum heard him speak, completely eye opening, they would be more prone to read the book. If you have the link, pleast post it! :)
  6. Kandahar

    Kandahar Banned

    I haven't read his book, but from what I know of him, he does seem to be a bit of a luddite. He's very concerned about "preserving our humanity" in the coming age of bioengineering...which I think is a silly, impossible, and dangerous goal.

    He's right to point out the dangers of biotechnology, but his conclusions don't follow from his arguments. As far as I'm concerned, anyone who argues that a branch of potentially useful science should be simply stopped (as if that were even possible) is a luddite. A better idea would be to try to find solutions for the potential problems in biotechnology.
  7. What is a luddite?

    I have never heard that label before.
  8. matthew

    matthew Almost sexy

  9. Per that definition I would disagree and offer clarification.

    It is my perception that McKibben does NOT oppose the advance of industrial technology, but rather opposes the IRRESPONSIBLE & DAMAGING advance of industrial technology, or rather opposes the advance of industrial technology in an IRRESPOSNSIBLE manner.

    Thats my opinion.
  10. Lodui

    Lodui One Man Orgy

    He's terrified of a science he can't understand...

    I'd like to see scientific objections approached by someone more scientific and less alarmist and emotional.

    I pity him...
  11. shaggie

    shaggie Senior Member

  12. Kandahar

    Kandahar Banned

  13. fickdichskkip

    fickdichskkip Banned

    Yet, I doubt you've read anything he's written.

    I'm fairly certain that he understands science much better than you do.

    When you say you want to hear objections by someone "more scientific and less alarmist and emotional" it sounds as though you just want to hear what you want to hear, and really have no interest in the truth, because that truth is too unsettling.
  14. fickdichskkip

    fickdichskkip Banned

    I think that maybe you should read something he's written before you make assumptions about his opinions. I hardly think that he's an alarmist at all; in The End of Nature he essentially argues that the process of altering the climate is one that occurs over a long, long time, and that it is difficult to perceive, yet that there is much scientific evidence to suggest that it is occuring, and that the average global temperature is changing.
  15. fickdichskkip

    fickdichskkip Banned

    Before you people go around using the term Luddite, perhaps you want to find out what it really means. Luddites were not people who feared technology, but were workers who had a specific grievence with the industrial practices being employed by certain industrialists in England in the early 19th-century. Yeah, they went around smashing machinery, but not because they feared technology, but because it was being used to make their lives a living Hell.
  16. Kandahar

    Kandahar Banned

    Bill McKibben raises a few good points (from what I know of him), but his solutions are at best unfeasible and at worst downright dangerous. The idea that we should just "stop" a certain technology (through laws or other means) will only INCREASE the risks associated with it.

    You're just arguing semantics now. The commonly-accepted contemporary definition of the word is "one who opposes technological change." It doesn't have to refer to 19th century textile workers any more than "vandal" has to refer to the people who destroyed Rome.
  17. Lodui

    Lodui One Man Orgy

    A profoundly stupid assumption.

    I read The End of Nature a few years ago, it was an alarmist and boring prediction of global warming backed by no scientific evidence.

    I tried reading enough as well, but It was as boring as it was fictitious...

    Yes... I'm sure a journalist for the New Yorker has the qualifications to effectivly review ecology and genetic science... fields which he has no background in, and demonstrates very little knowledge.
    When you say you want to hear objections by someone of "more scientific

    No I don't want to hear inane pseudo-scientific cowerings by a 'b' journalist of a potentially profoundly benificial technology.

    Once again... I like to hear scientic objections by educated scientific minds, not this guy...

    If you ever get yourself unbanned, feel free to respond.
  18. shaggie

    shaggie Senior Member

  19. thrawn

    thrawn Member

    I personally believe Mckibben is the antithesis of someone adopting change and basically running with it. In "Enough," his thesis is rarely backed by scientific evidence that is relevant to proving his argument. He includes numerous facts and interesting anecdotes, but never proved to me that GNR was anything less of amazing. His entire chapter on the "genrich" was muddled and ridden with holes, for he fails to ilustrate the damage a science like that can have on our society. His views are nothing short of ambitious, and clearly fail to prove to the reader the importance in what he believes. His methods of prevention are ludicrous and the fact he does not express the benefits in a positive light, make the book seem to one-sided. The book was interesting, in my opinion, not for his views, but for the intriguing facts he so eagerly states.

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