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ZetaTalk: Best Intentions
Note: written on Jun 15, 1996

Most technological research is done with the best of intentions, unless it is done frankly in the name of weaponry development. Even the atomic bomb started out in this manner, with a desire to harness the atom for mankind, for a higher standard of living.

Where research is undertaken with the best of intentions, results cannot be hidden. New technologies inevitably come under the scrutiny of the power hungry, if only through being marketed or widely used. Most often technology is patented, and thus comes under scrutiny early in the process. Money is used as the vehicle to gain control of new technology, with the establishment offering lures, rather than threats. Frank takeovers are rarely attempted, as the same results can be achieved in ways that draw less attention. Talk to the inventor who refused to allow himself to be bought, and a different picture is drawn. Competition may be structured such that the inventor finds himself without a market, with the aim that he should capitulate. The invention may be stolen and used, as those without money can scarcely object effectively in the courts.

If a new technology can be used to boost weapons, the military has means at their disposal which allow them to simply confiscate the technology. If the technology simply offers a higher standard of living, then those in the establishment, corporate giants, will use every means at their disposal to reap profits from mankind's eager adoption of the technology. This is usually masked as a joint arrangement with the inventor, but should one scrutinize the record, most often the inventor is barely rewarded and the takeover artists become wealthy. The price for any new invention is then placed at what the market will bear, to maximize profits, so mankind in the end does not benefit as the inventor had hoped.

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