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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

anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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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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