Tech Digest

What the Collapse of Hollywood Credibility Has To Do with Biotech

Stay Up to Date!

Simply enter your email below and click SIGN UP!

From Bioscience Expert Patrick Cox - The Most Life-Changing Book You'll Read This Year - Click Here

October 16, 2017

Where’s my flying car? The question has become a meme of disappointment regarding unfulfilled predictions of scientific and technological progress. At least as far back as the 1870s, futurists have been dreaming of vehicles that could be driven and flown.

In fact, we have solutions right now. Safe road-ready vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) craft could be built today. Technology could also solve the air traffic control problems that flying cars would create. The biggest hurdle has been meeting the nearly impossible legal requirements such vehicles are subject to.

To solve that problem, we’ll need a major societal transformation. And we’ll get it.  

Whether or not you and I live to see that day depends on another change. I’m talking, of course, about the attitudes about anti-aging biotechnologies.

Granted, it may seem that progress is slow, but dramatic changes are going on behind the scenes. Scientists are making breakthroughs into the processes of aging that are almost unbelievable. At the same time, the institutions that influence public policy are slowly changing. At some point, gradual change will become sudden.

Hollywood Reaches a Tipping Point 

Change is happening all around us. Perhaps the best current example is the crisis playing out in Hollywood.

Admittedly, I’m not Hollywood’s best customer. I’m more likely to play first-person-shooter video games than watch TV. I go to only a few movies each year, and usually regret it. But I did do a stint in Hollywood a couple of decades ago, so the industry interests me.

A producer with a string of major hit movies was working on a script about the IRS. He wanted a policy economist involved in the project, and I found myself working on the Paramount lot.

A mere cog in the entertainment machine, I wasn’t invited to parties with Harvey Weinstein. But I did know a lot of insiders… and I heard a lot of stories.

Every business has a gossip network, but Hollywood is unique. A whole industry exists simply to satisfy public demand for details about the private lives of celebrities. Those who work with and around those stars are probably even more interested. And they talk to one another.

That’s why I’m skeptical of claims by the well-connected that they were ignorant of things even low-level studio employees knew about. A more likely explanation is that they rightly feared a lawsuit if they broke the code of silence. At the very least, they faced retaliation by the Hollywood image machine.

A few brave people, like Courtney Love, spoke out about Weinstein, but they suffered professionally for it. Now that Weinstein’s predations are finally exposed, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has expelled him.

It won’t solve Hollywood’s image problems because it doesn’t address concerns about the systematic exploitation of underage actors. Those are the stories that really disturbed me when I was in the “biz.”

The industry’s defenders would like us to believe that these stories were made up by former child actor Corey Feldman. That’s a hard line to sell, though, because director Roman Polanski has admitted to the rape of a 13-year-old and is accused by others. Polanski is still a member of the academy and is defended by recipients of its Oscar awards.

What are we supposed to make of all this?

Clearly, it’s confirmation of Lord Acton’s axiom: power corrupts. People who can deliver or end careers worth hundreds of millions of dollars have a lot of power. Not only can they do things that would get the rest of us thrown in prison, they engender an army of extremely wealthy defenders.

It doesn’t seem to be working anymore. The movie industry is suffering its worst-attended summer movie season in 25 years.

I think we’re seeing a cultural tipping point. The entertainment business has always seen itself as occupying a higher moral sphere. Yes, most of its product is salacious and trivial. Yet, there are times when it produces works of “art” that justify the industry’s enhanced self-image. Harvey Weinstein’s Miramax Films, more than any other studio, filled that role.

That’s over. Hollywood’s reputation has been seriously and permanently harmed.

Creative Destruction Will Win Out

It’s not just the entertainment business that is losing its luster. In the last generation, public confidence in banks, media, big business, Congress, the presidency, religious organizations, and the medical system have fallen significantly. Exceptions are the military, the police, and small business.

The Gallup poll that I just cited didn’t ask about academia and academic science, but these groups are also suffering from self-inflicted wounds. Primary among them is the reproducibility crisis.

What we’re seeing is creative destruction at work. Successful industries and institutions fight desperately to maintain the status quo. Innovation is resisted and demonized.

Eventually, innovation and market forces win out. The old order falls, often quite suddenly, and a new one evolves organically.

We’ll get our flying cars.

Patrick Cox
Patrick Cox
Editor, Transformational Technology Alert

Mauldin Economics


Stay in the Loop on Life-Extending Research
with Patrick Cox's Tech Digest

Tech Digest

Your privacy is very important to us. Please review our Privacy Policy.


« Back to Articles

From Bioscience Expert Patrick Cox - The Most Life-Changing Book You'll Read This Year - Click Here

Discuss This

We welcome your comments. Please comply with our Community Rules.


There are no comments at this time.

Use of this content, the Mauldin Economics website, and related sites and applications is provided under the Mauldin Economics Terms & Conditions of Use.

Unauthorized Disclosure Prohibited

The information provided in this publication is private, privileged, and confidential information, licensed for your sole individual use as a subscriber. Mauldin Economics reserves all rights to the content of this publication and related materials. Forwarding, copying, disseminating, or distributing this report in whole or in part, including substantial quotation of any portion the publication or any release of specific investment recommendations, is strictly prohibited.
Participation in such activity is grounds for immediate termination of all subscriptions of registered subscribers deemed to be involved at Mauldin Economics’ sole discretion, may violate the copyright laws of the United States, and may subject the violator to legal prosecution. Mauldin Economics reserves the right to monitor the use of this publication without disclosure by any electronic means it deems necessary and may change those means without notice at any time. If you have received this publication and are not the intended subscriber, please contact


The Mauldin Economics website, Yield Shark, Thoughts from the Frontline, Outside the Box, Over My Shoulder, Transformational Technology Alert, Rational Bear, The 10th Man, Connecting The Dots, Stray Reflections, Street Freak, ETF 20/20, Macro Growth & Income Alert, In the Money, and Mauldin Economics VIP are published by Mauldin Economics, LLC. Information contained in such publications is obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The information contained in such publications is not intended to constitute individual investment advice and is not designed to meet your personal financial situation. The opinions expressed in such publications are those of the publisher and are subject to change without notice. The information in such publications may become outdated and there is no obligation to update any such information. You are advised to discuss with your financial advisers your investment options and whether any investment is suitable for your specific needs prior to making any investments.
John Mauldin, Mauldin Economics, LLC and other entities in which he has an interest, employees, officers, family, and associates may from time to time have positions in the securities or commodities covered in these publications or web site. Corporate policies are in effect that attempt to avoid potential conflicts of interest and resolve conflicts of interest that do arise in a timely fashion.
Mauldin Economics, LLC reserves the right to cancel any subscription at any time, and if it does so it will promptly refund to the subscriber the amount of the subscription payment previously received relating to the remaining subscription period. Cancellation of a subscription may result from any unauthorized use or reproduction or rebroadcast of any Mauldin Economics publication or website, any infringement or misappropriation of Mauldin Economics, LLC’s proprietary rights, or any other reason determined in the sole discretion of Mauldin Economics, LLC.

Affiliate Notice

Mauldin Economics has affiliate agreements in place that may include fee sharing. If you have a website or newsletter and would like to be considered for inclusion in the Mauldin Economics affiliate program, please go to Likewise, from time to time Mauldin Economics may engage in affiliate programs offered by other companies, though corporate policy firmly dictates that such agreements will have no influence on any product or service recommendations, nor alter the pricing that would otherwise be available in absence of such an agreement. As always, it is important that you do your own due diligence before transacting any business with any firm, for any product or service.

© Copyright 2018 Mauldin Economics