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Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to watch Andy Grove talk about saving the Hidden in the messaging at the Intel Developer Forum last week was a goal to dramatically lower U.S. electricity bills and save the country from becoming an energy slave to China by 2020. At the core of this is the view that the current Obama administration may be focused on the right things but in the wrong order. If we don't fix the energy problem -- in short, our addiction to oil -- first, then other things -- like healthcare reform and the war on terror -- will fail.
Rob E., Nice post. It may be helpful to get out of the mode of thinking about the whole Obama Administration as purely a group of technocrats who think only in terms of command and control. There are many groups within the exec branch of government (DARPA, NIH, NSF, DoE R&D...) who do seek to nurture organic innovation of the kind that might actually have an positive impact on each of the issues you raise. I do agree that the Administration makes a mistake talking about so many major problems as if government alone can solve them, or even take the lead to solve them. A more helpful metaphor might be sowing the seeds of innovation and encouraging the growth of what sprouts as a result.