The sad truth is that entities like the Trilateral Commission and revolving-door policies have created a corporation-like government in the United States, where risk is a bigger motivator than innovation. If we could do what Neil Degrasse Tyson emphasizes and get smart people into government, we could stand a chance at being decent leaders in technology in the 21st century. As it stands, though, engineers and scientists are not fond of running for political office.

EDIT: Title should read "Neal STEPHENSON writes an article," obviously.