New York Times - August 25, 2012 by Thomas Friedman
WHEN you hear the insane notion of “legitimate rape” being aired by a Republican congressman — a member of the House science committee no less — it makes you wonder some days how we became the world’s richest, most powerful country, and, more important, how we’re going to stay there. The short answer is that, thank God, there’s still a bunch of people across America — innovators and entrepreneurs — who just didn’t get the word. They didn’t get the word that Germany will eat our breakfast or that China will eat our lunch. They didn’t get the word that we’re in a recession and heading for a fiscal cliff. They’re not interested in politics at all. Instead, they just go out and invent stuff and fix stuff and collaborate on stuff. They are our saving grace, and whenever I need a pick-me-up, I drop in on one of them.
I did just that last week, visiting the design workshop of Rethink Robotics, near Boston’s airport, where I did something I’ve never done before: I programmed a robot to perform the simple task of moving widgets from one place to another. Yup, I trained the robot’s arms using a very friendly screen interface and memory built into its mechanical limbs.
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