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Moreover, the museum could do this at relatively low cost—could, in fact, work the spatial equivalent of the miracle of the loaves and fishes: “The beauty of this is that your real estate is unlimited . The cost per square foot of virtual real estate is infinitesimal —because you can roam the universe . The only limit on where you can go is your imagination.”

By now, Furness’s listeners looked liked kids in Disneyland. They sat stock-still, their eyes riveted on him, their mouths agape, as he segued from the dream portion of his speech to the practicalities of realizing the dream in the museum. Furness detailed the “scalable, modular system” he wanted to build—one that would allow the museum to plug in or remove computer modules as software and hardware advanced, so that the system—one that “might be a real precedent in the world”—could be kept constantly state of the art. He could get started, he said, with “an R-O-M—Rough Order of Magnitude—of $1.4 million,” which would get the starship and its support system “through construction.” He would like to get started as soon as possible, he added, “because we have several projects that are ramping down.”

In truth, he needed to get funded as soon as possible because he was on the verge of having to close the lab’s doors.

I sat through the presentation alternately swept up in the soft whirlwind of Furness’s speech and mindful of the intimidating technical obstacles standing between the museum and its virtual Jupiter—obstacles that approached those of a spaceflight to the real Jupiter. I started thinking of the enormous difficulties of getting a network of computers to render the real-time, rich, collaborative environments that Furness was describing. I wondered how he would maintain and repair the headsets he wanted to use without the support of the manufacturer, which had gone out of business. I wondered how the system would stand up to the punishment sure to be inflicted on it by kids with no experience using VR equipment, and by museum employees who could be taught to deal with its interface but who would lack the expertise to tweak broken or misbehaving hardware and software. And I realized that Furness was promising to deliver something no one had ever managed to deliver anywhere.

And most amazing of all—Furness actually believed he could pull this off. He had an amazing ability to keep seeing the desired as the actual, the vision as the reality, no matter how many times his dreams fell short of being realized. He never seemed to know how to get from the imperfect here to the perfect there, but he knew in his heart that someone somehow would get there someday. If it was good and useful and something humankind desperately needed—and Furness was convinced that his virtual-world interface was all of those things, and more—then it was as if he had already found the way there and had only to pull the less imaginative up into his paradise.

The presentation was a resounding success—at the end, the audience came up and surrounded Furness. “Great presentation!” someone shouted. “Outstanding!” said the museum board chairman. “My goodness!” said the museum PR director. “I didn’t realize you were going to come down here with bells and whistles and dancing girls!”

And then, as happened again and again with Furness, the museum board backed out of the project when it came time to write the check a few weeks later. Once his spell wore off, the board members came to their senses.

The night Furness told me that, sitting in early evening in his office with the darkness settling in around him, wearing his disappointment like an old familiar favorite sweater, I recognized him at last—and found the source of his hold over my imagination. It was just a matter of waiting for the room to grow dim enough for his real features to emerge.

He was Doc Maynard reincarnate, “dreaming the right dreams too soon,” in Murray Morgan’s Murray Morgan’s Skid Road is by far the best Seattle book every written, and should be required reading for anyone even mildly interested in why Seattle is what it is. words, who had come out to Seattle from Ohio, just as the first Maynard had, full of amazing visions and the unequalled ability to see them come to fruition in one way or another. But he was also destined, as Maynard had been the first time around, to see his grandiose dreams fulfilled not by himself but by others—less imaginative, less daring, and ultimately far more rich.

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
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Source:  OpenStax, Seattle and the demons of ambition. OpenStax CNX. Oct 26, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10504/1.4
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