Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Surviving on Lifeboat Earth

Surviving on Lifeboat Earth requires a coalition of all talents, small as well as great.

Similarly, in the fall of 1940, winning the military and moral war against the Axis nations and their fellow travellers among the world's Neutral nations (remember, at that time, they formed the majority of the world's nations !) would also take a 'coalition of all talents', or so thought an obscure doctor in a New York hospital.

Dr Henry Dawson's resulting "small" penicillin Manhattan Project was intended to serve as both as a rebuke to the Allied leadership for editing out most of the world's beings from their coalition plans and as a pilot project example of all the good things that happen when a coalition of all talents is really set to work.

Dawson's 1940 vision of "abundant patent-free natural penicillin for all even during a total war" has benefitted ten billion of us in the seventy five years since, mostly through a form of herd immunity.

Certainly Dawson also made many great pioneering scientific breakthroughs in all kinds of areas, such as DNA, HGT, Quorum sensing, curing the incurable SBE etc.

However, I believe that his greatest contribution to humanity during his tragically short life was actually his project's putting real flesh on the then highly controversial claim that the world was better off with more, not less, human and biological diversity in its portfolio.

Putting the fatal "post" into 1945 Modernity

By 1945, Dawson's project (together with projects from people like Dr Mengele, operating from the totally opposite end of the moral spectrum) helped upend the certitudes of man-centred Progress and together put the fatal "post" in Modernity...

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