Technology Trumps Government Once Again

A couple years ago I wrote a post asserting that technology and markets are more powerful than government and politics. I  cited the government’s case against microsoft and the emergence of  the morning after pill and other remedies like it to give women the right to choose even if the government decides to take it away.

The whole stem cell debate is another example of this. For the past nine years, our country has been debating the morality of using embryonic stem cells to do research and develop new drugs and possibly save lives and dramatically improve quality of life for some. Our current administration has made it hard to do stem cell research on embryonic stem cells.

But this week comes the news that researchers have figured out how to make stem cells from  human skin cells. So the debate over doing stem cell research should die down once this new technique is understood and  disseminated to the various labs that are working in this field. And it will likely speed up the development of stem cell based therapies.

So once again, technology is the solution to a problem that government can’t seem to figure out how to solve. I am not particularly optimistic about our government in this country, or frankly in in our world. Politics is subject to corruption, short term thinking over long term planning, and the will of vocal and powerful minorities over the silent majorities.

But technology on the other hand is solving problems right and left. It’s creating problems too (like the stem cell debate). But the great thing about technology is it always tries to solve the problems it creates. And has a track record of doing so.

Next up – our reliance on carbon-based energy and the pollution, climate change, and wealth and power effects it creates.