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Radical Abundance by K. Eric Drexler

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CHAPTER 8

The Clashing Concerns of Engineering and Science

OF ELEPHANTS AND AUTOMOBILITY: TWIN PARABLES OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

The story of the blind men and the elephant originated in South Asia uncounted centuries ago and no one now knows its source, though the tale has long been part of the Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, and Sufi traditions. It took root in the English-speaking world through a poem penned over a century ago:

                           It was six men of Hindustan

                           To learning much inclined,

                           Who went to see the Elephant

                           (Though all of them were blind),

                           That each by observation

                           Might satisfy his mind ...

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