It’s a golden fall day on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, across the water from Boston, and there are sailboats on the river, and white birds and falling leaves are riding the same breeze -- a beautiful, optimistic morning, so sunny and soul warming that you might actually be given to believe the thirty-seven-year-old man sitting cross-legged on the park bench beside you when he announces that he will build houses out of gigantic programmable gourds.
You want to believe him because he will make other promises, too, the sorts of promises that have been made by science and by scientists for the last hundred years, the sorts of promises that would make a four-bedroom, two-bathroom pumpkin seem ordinary.
No more oil rigs.
No more malaria.
No more cancer.
Of course you want to believe him. Someone you love will one day live or die because this man's dreams have or have not come true. And since you believe him, you're also scared. Because so is he.