Monday, January 31, 2005

State rankings and quantum reality

State rankings in nanotech. I just don't know. Yeah, I know, that's how you build buzz and sell paper and all that -- by getting regions and states to brag about their rankings and buy the reports and mags that rank them. But what do they really mean?

At the very least, maybe they're wonderful real-world illustrations of the "potential realities" concept that quantum mechanics teaches us.

How can you possibly quantify the economic impact of as-yet-non-existing businesses and economic clusters on state economies? I think you can judge, at best, the amount of coordination and money spent on building what these states and communities hope someday will reap economic rewards, along with existing "facts on the ground," like Michigan = auto and Army vehicles, Massachusetts = top universities and life science companies, Colorado = feds, etc.

But, still, I think any state would be hard-pressed to point to any economic benefit yet. The labs will be built, the clusters will cluster and the companies will be launched, products will be released and then let the games begin. But I just don't think they've really crossed the starting line yet.

Related News
Nanotechnology offers promise on a smaller scale (Centre Daily Times)

NanoBot Backgrounder
The Nano-Rank Rag
Son of Massachusetts Miracle


Anonymous said...

I have a quote in a story coming out Friday (the timing of my weekly column leaves something to be desired, but what can you do) that addresses this problem somewhat. Best -- Charles Q. Choi

Howard Lovy said...

Thanks, Charles. I look forward to reading it. Make sure you send me a link when it runs.