There's this "Victory Project" thing that Insty linked to... offering gigabuck rewards for a variety of achievements:
- Develop a cure for breast cancer.
- Develop a cure for diabetes.
- Reduce greenhouse emissions from petroleum powered automobiles by 95% without increasing the cost of a normal car more than 5%.
- Achieve 150 miles per gallon of gasoline in a 3,000 lb. car, using EPA standards; without increasing the cost of a normal car more than 10%.
Well, I have a feeling that #3 is impossible as stated, and #4 is probably non-feasible. I'm no oncologist, but I have this notion that #1 may run afoul of "breast cancer" not being all one disease, and "cure" being kind of hard to pin down.
Then there's #2... diabetes is at least three different (though related) diseases, one of which is cured automatically after a few months. Does the "cure" have to be for all types? Type 2 is already curable in some cases. (I'm about half cured, after a year of relatively minor lifestyle adjustments; do my doctor and Wikipedia split the billion when my glucose eventually returns to normal?)
Revisiting the wording of #3, I see that there's more than one way to parse it. By the alternative interpretation, simply blowing up all the gasoline refineries would do the trick.
Methinks these goals need to be restated, in engineer-speak (or maybe in lawyer-speak).