X-Message-Number: 23953
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2004 11:16:49 -0700
From: James Swayze <>
Subject: (US) Losing Our Edge?

Since there has been previous complaint about posting here links only to 
articles that require subscription to open and read, even free ones such 
as this NY Times article, I am pasting the entire article. Here is the 
link, below is the article in entirety between the two **: 

This article has some political commentary but the reason I post it is 
because as Immortalists we need to watch all trends and gage the winds 
of change to better push our memes for ensuring our own survival and 
that of all peoples. We've been largely banking on the US development 
for certain technologies and having the US stay the foremost in 
technological edge for safety sake but this may not always be true. As 
this article points out the US is losing it's edge to mostly Asia and so 
we may want to begin NOW a strategy of fomenting Physical Immortality 
memes in Asia to begin immediately in newer generations to either 
augment or replace their largely 'recycling of souls' current beliefs 
that make, to them, Physical Immortality quite unnecessary. In short, if 
we must someday depend on Asia for the very same technologies that can 
also provide Physical Immortality, among other uses, we need to make 
sure those in charge of producing them will recognize and be friendly to 
those same uses of that technology that can provide Physical 
Immortality. The following article expresses concern that the US is 
losing it's lead in technology, especially emerging technologies, and 
worst among these trends losing the interest of the young in learning 
the sciences that produce them. I believe that as the youth of asia 
already show signs of a great love of all that is 'new tech' and 
gadgetry and all things "Western" and "glam" they could also quickly 
enlighten to the transhumanist meme.

NYTimes -- Losing Our Edge?

Published: April 22, 2004

was just out in Silicon Valley, checking in with high-tech entrepreneurs 
about the state of their business. I wouldn't say they were universally 
gloomy, but I did detect something I hadn't detected before: a real 
undertow of concern that America is losing its competitive edge 
vis- -vis China, India, Japan and other Asian tigers, and that the Bush 
team is deaf, dumb and blind to this situation.

Several executives explained to me that they were opening new plants in 
Asia   not because of cheaper labor. Labor is a small component now in 
an automated high-tech manufacturing plant. It is because governments in 
these countries are so eager for employment and the transfer of 
technology to their young populations that they are offering huge tax 
holidays for U.S. manufacturers who will set up shop. Because most of 
these countries also offer some form of national health insurance, U.S. 
companies shed that huge open liability as well.

Other executives complained bitterly that the Department of Homeland 
Security is making it so hard for legitimate foreigners to get visas to 
study or work in America that many have given up the age-old dream of 
coming here. Instead, they are studying in England and other Western 
European nations, and even China. This is leading to a twofold disaster.

First, one of America's greatest assets   its ability to skim the cream 
off the first-round intellectual draft choices from around the world and 
bring them to our shores to innovate   will be diminished, and that in 
turn will shrink our talent pool. And second, we could lose a whole 
generation of foreigners who would normally come here to study, and then 
would take American ideas and American relationships back home. In a 
decade we will feel that loss in America's standing around the world.

Still others pointed out that the percentage of Americans graduating 
with bachelor's degrees in science and engineering is less than half of 
the comparable percentage in China and Japan, and that U.S. government 
investments are flagging in basic research in physics, chemistry and 

engineering. Anyone who thinks that all the Indian and Chinese techies 
are doing is answering call-center phones or solving tech problems for 
Dell customers is sadly mistaken. U.S. firms are moving serious research 
and development to India and China.

The bottom line: we are actually in the middle of two struggles right 
now. One is against the Islamist terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere, and 
the other is a competitiveness-and-innovation struggle against India, 
China, Japan and their neighbors. And while we are all fixated on the 
former (I've been no exception), we are completely ignoring the latter. 
We have got to get our focus back in balance, not to mention our budget. 
We can't wage war on income taxes and terrorism and a war for innovation 
at the same time.

Craig Barrett, the C.E.O. of Intel, noted that Intel sponsors an 
international science competition every year. This year it attracted 
some 50,000 American high school kids. "I was in China 10 days ago," Mr. 
Barrett said, "and I asked them how many kids in China participated in 
the local science fairs that feed into the national fair [and ultimately 
the Intel finals]. They told me six million kids."

For now, the U.S. still excels at teaching science and engineering at 
the graduate level, and also in university research. But as the Chinese 
get more feeder stock coming up through their high schools and colleges, 
"they will get to the same level as us after a decade," Mr. Barrett 
said. "We are not graduating the volume, we do not have a lock on the 
infrastructure, we do not have a lock on the new ideas, and we are 
either flat-lining, or in real dollars cutting back, our investments in 
physical science."

And what is the Bush strategy? Let's go to Mars. Hello? Right now we 
should have a Manhattan Project to develop a hydrogen-based energy 
economy   it's within reach and would serve our economy, our environment 
and our foreign policy by diminishing our dependence on foreign oil. 
Instead, the Bush team says let's go to Mars. Where is Congress? Out to 
lunch   or, worse, obsessed with trying to keep Susie Smith's job at the 
local pillow factory that is moving to the Caribbean   without thinking 
about a national competitiveness strategy. And where is Wall Street? So 
many of the plutocrats there know that the Bush fiscal policy is a 
long-term disaster. They know it   but they won't say a word because 
they are too greedy or too gutless.

The only crisis the U.S. thinks it's in today is the war on terrorism, 
Mr. Barrett said. "It's not."

We cannot afford to keep all our eggs in one basket, especially as the 
US seems self doomed to revive a highly myopic Puritanical social 
standard to the detriment of all and against all reason.


Cryonics Institute of Michigan	http://www.cryonics.org
The Immortalist Society		http://www.cryonics.org/info.html
The Society for Venturism	http://www.venturist.org
Immortality Institute		http://www.imminst.org
Methuselah Foundation		http://www.methuselahfoundation.org
Methuselah Mouse Prize		http://www.methuselahmouse.org [Give $$$ for life!]
World Transhumanist Association	http://www.transhumanism.org/
Marijuana Policy Project	http://www.mpp.org
American Civil Liberties Union	http://www.aclu.org
Nat. Resources Defense Council	http://www.nrdc.org
Act For Change			http://www.actforchange.org
People for American Way		http://www.pfaw.org

MY WEBSITE: http://www.davidpascal.com/swayze/

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