Today I thought I'd point out an interesting take on advocacy for faster progress in research from an organization called The Cure is Now. There is a great deal of frustration with the slow pace of medical research, the consequence of excessive regulation in that field. The regulatory cost of developing treatments has far less new medicine is actually making it out of the labs, despite the enormous and rapid progress in biotechnology taking place. One manifestation of this frustration is the existence of organizations such as Faster Cures, Tomorrow's Cures Today, and Breakout Labs, all of which take somewhat different approaches to trying to break the logjam, ranging from straightforward lobbying to venture philanthropy.
The Cure is Now has yet another view on the best way forward to speed up the development of better therapies and new cures, its focus being on accelerating the coming technological convergence in fields such as genetics, computing, and molecular nanotechnology. Once further along present trends in this direction will result in entirely new paradigms and platforms for medicine based on complete control over cells and the replacement of biological components at all scales with more effective and more robust machinery. These are explicitly transhumanist goals, and more people are thinking in those terms these days, given the popularizing of modern variants of the technological singularity concept, now having more to do with accelerating progress and next generation technology than the original ideas from Vinge specifically related to artificial intelligence.
The Cure is Now prose is all too breathless, and veers between overly general and too specific, but that is something that improves with organizational growth and experience. I can't say that I was any good when first starting out. Overall this looks like a small group that is doing more than just talking about things, also seeking to fund specific useful areas of research, and that is commendable. You can write however you want to write if you are also delivering money to research efforts. The future is built of many such modest initiatives, a tapestry of individual choices, people trying to make a better future by improving medicine and its support technologies:
The Cure Is Now is a national non-profit organization organized by people who share a common bond. Having their lives personally affected by horrible diseases, this group came together out of desperation over the fact that there does not seem to be a simple answer as to how, when and if there will be reliable, robust, and clear cut cures to the long list of incurable diseases that kill loved ones every day.
There are many incurable diseases that need to be addressed. The Cure Is Now is using what it calls the Root Level Approach to solving the problems by facilitating groups of individuals who will work together to achieve this goal. By employing a Committee on Advanced Technology, Medical Advisory Board and a Science Advisory Board to explore radically advanced, emerging technologies, The Cure Is Now hopes to accelerate speculative and emerging technologies in order to lead to the event known as The Singularity.
The driving forces behind The Cure Is Now are the realization of something known as the technological singularity. There is an event that will change the world more so than major breakthroughs like the Internet, industrialization, democracy, flight, or other paradigm shifting social evolutions. This event known as the technological singularity will bring forth changes for human kind that will address some of our most fundamental needs in ways that have never been before possible.
Research has shown that several groups of thus far so called "incurable" diseases can be potentially addressed in ways that have never before been conceived of. Today The Cure Is Now seeks to address the very concept of attacking these diseases with several new emerging and speculative technologies. So if you're looking for an explanation as to why The Cure Is Now does not target one simple disease but rather several of them, it is precisely because we feel that the way to cure a disease is not necessarily through the conventional pharmaceutical and medical methods used thus far. Rather, a whole slew of new and radically advanced technologies will be converged and applied in order to invent new methods of finding cures. The Cure Is Now subscribes to what we call the root level approach. The root level approach quite simply states that a convergence of several new advanced technologies will address the hurdles in thus far incurable diseases: artificial general intelligence; molecular nanotechnology; biotechnology; brain-machine interfaces and neuroscience, networks and supercomputing; and genomics.