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How The Future Fell Short: Facebook Instead Of Mars Colonies?

LEFT: NASA's Curiosity rover used the Mars Hand Lens Imager to capture this set of 55 high-resolution images, which were stitched together to create this full-color self-portrait. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems). RIGHT: Facebook for Android. (Johan Larsson/Flickr)

LEFT: NASA’s Curiosity rover used the Mars Hand Lens Imager to capture this set of 55 high-resolution images, which were stitched together to create this full-color self-portrait. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems). RIGHT: Facebook for Android. (Johan Larsson/Flickr)

Humans on Mars, a cure for cancer, the end of hunger were all worthy dreams of the 20th and now the 21st century. But many of those dreams failed to materialize.

The November/December issue of MIT Technology Review tackles the disconnect between what we envisioned and what we ended up with — “You promised me Mars colonies. Instead, I got Facebook,” they say. The writers argue that, in the last 50 years, entrepreneurs, technologists, investors, the government have all  lost the zeal necessary to solve the really big challenges.

Deputy editor Brian Bergstein joins Radio Boston to talk about the Tech Review’s  impassioned critique of what he calls 21st century technology’s love affair with quick money and small pursuits.

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  • Mike_Card

    It’s the same reason brilliant physics graduates end up on Wall St, figuring out how to devise collaterized debt obligations.  Bring Milton Friedman back and let his sorry ass explain how fluffy securities are better than medical advances.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1586840974 Mary Mendoza

    WE coudl also blame Jack Welch, for bringing in the emphasis on short term quarterly earnings.  I might also add that a lot of these programs were started by a democrat- John F. Kennedy, and slashed by Nixon, a republican.  By then the budget just wasn’t there for a properly built shuttle.
    The result was the two shuttle disasters, which high lighted a budgetarily compromised shuttle.

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