Monday, October 17, 2005

WMDs: Then and Now

The only reason we're fighting a war in Iraq today is because of the supposed threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction. But, as we all now know, Saddam had no WMDs. Frankly, I believe President Bush knew that all along. I've seen incredible pictures taken by the Hubble telescope. I can only imagine what the government can look at by aiming a similarly powerful camera back down toward earth.

The WMDs of the 20th-century are based on nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) technologies. Building nuclear weapons requires access to rare and effectively unavailable raw materials and highly protected information. Biological and chemical weapons programs also tend to require large-scale activities.

The 21st-century WMD technologies are based on genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics (GNR). Frighteningly, these technologies are widely within the reach of individuals or small groups. They will not require large facilities or rare raw materials. Knowledge alone will enable their use.

The Op-Ed section of the October 17, 2005 edition of the N.Y. Times ran a piece co-authored by Ray Kurzweil and Bill Joy entitled "Recipe for Destruction". Below is an unedited excerpt taken from the first two paragraphs:
AFTER a decade of painstaking research, federal and university scientists have reconstructed the 1918 influenza virus that killed 50 million people worldwide. Like the flu viruses now raising alarm bells in Asia, the 1918 virus was a bird flu that jumped directly to humans, the scientists reported. To shed light on how the virus evolved, the United States Department of Health and Human Services published the full genome of the 1918 influenza virus on the Internet in the GenBank database.

This is extremely foolish. The genome is essentially the design of a weapon of mass destruction. No responsible scientist would advocate publishing precise designs for an atomic bomb, and in two ways revealing the sequence for the flu virus is even more dangerous.

[Click here to read more (registration required)]

I've frequently complained about the stupidity of our Federal Government. But, publishing the full genome of the 1918 influenza virus on the Internet represents a new high in the depths of stupidity. This certainly makes my constant griping about the Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework seem pale by comparison. Nevertheless, I'm mad as hell and don't want to take it anymore.

America is broken. You can't keep cutting taxes while the budget deficit soars. You can't keep coming up with new excuses about why we attacked Iraq. You can't nominate non-elite Supreme Court judges. And, you don't make the definition of a Technology Architecture reference model the LAST step in the creation of an Enterprise Architecture.

Stupid is as stupid does. America used to be the smartest nation on earth. I guess now we're just a byproduct of an educational system that wants to teach intelligent design in science classes.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In reality, the ONLY REASON we are fighting the war in Iraq is because of OIL, the WMD was the ruse that was used to justify the war to the American people.

Sorry, I disagree with the first part, but agree with the rest.

6:12 PM  

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