September 2006
Special Focus

Unconventional exploration technologies: Take another look

There’s something about human nature that wants it both ways. We like it when some simple technology, something supposedly overlooked, succeeds wildly. It’s a bit cultural too: The less educated especially like it. It’s like poking a stick in the eye of megabucks PhD research and development. Conversely, we are suspicious of anything that’s too cheap, too easy. Surely, we think, the "big boys" with all their money and know-how, didn’t overlook this simple idea. They probably looked into it, and deemed it unworthy. All too often, the inventor or practitioner of the technology is unwilling to allow the technique to be critiqued, examined or make any attempt to prove its utility. "Why should I? I’ll find all the oil and make all the money!" they would say. (But that doesn’t stop them from asking me to publish them!) In such cases, it is fitting that their technology should remain largely unused.

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