2003 : WHAT ARE THE PRESSING SCIENTIFIC ISSUES FOR THE NATION AND THE WORLD, AND WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE ON HOW I CAN BEGIN TO DEAL WITH THEM? - GWB

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Mathematician; computer scientist; Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, MIT; cofounder, MIT's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory; author, The Emotion Machine
Mathematician and computer scientist

Mr. President:

My idea is that the whole "Homeland Defense" thing is too cost-ineffective to be plausible. The lifetime cost of, for example, preventing each airplane-crash fatality will be the order of $100,000,000—and we could save a thousand times as many lives at the same cost by various simple public-health measures.

Conclusion: what we really need is a "Homeland Arithmetic" reorganization.

Yours truly,

Marvin Minsky
Mathematician and computer scientist
Toshiba Professor of Media Arts and Sciences; Cofounder of Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
MIT
Author of eight books, including The Society of Mind.