Welcome Notice

Register Log in

\"Technology Is Directional\" <=> \"Low Hanging Fruit Everywhere\"...

B

Bret Cahill

Guest
It\'s easy for a lazy thinker -- that\'s everyone in some respect -- to get distracted from the possible by studying thermodynamics which focuses on the impossible. Obviously the \"cardinality\" of the set of impossible things is >> than the set of the possible so you save an infinite amount of time just by being aware of the impossible. You definitely need the basics to improve your odds.

Saying \"technology is directional\" that is, society and public policy can direct research and development and get beneficial results like HVDC falls directly out of the statement \"there\'s low hanging fruit everywhere, we only need to look for it.\"

IOW, the reason technology is so directional isn\'t because engineers and scientists can do anything or are omniscient but for almost the exact opposite reason. It\'s because, as Einstein pointed out, there is so much unknown that can be very easily understood and put into practice if we only got the right insight.

For an instant example, maybe 2 kilobites of tips could reduce the economic and public health effects of CV-19 by 90%. That\'s trillions of dollars a couple million lives.

To be sure, at present population growth rates, there will be only 15 watts of solar power / human in 500 years. This isn\'t enough energy to keep the brain alive.

The Mars thingy probably won\'t happen anytime soon but there may be other opportunities. Breakthroughs are guaranteed. We just need the right ones.


Bret Cahill
 
S

server

Guest
On Thursday, 27 August 2020 16:37:47 UTC+1, Bret Cahill wrote:

It\'s easy for a lazy thinker -- that\'s everyone in some respect -- to get distracted from the possible by studying thermodynamics which focuses on the impossible. Obviously the \"cardinality\" of the set of impossible things is >> than the set of the possible so you save an infinite amount of time just by being aware of the impossible. You definitely need the basics to improve your odds.

Saying \"technology is directional\" that is, society and public policy can direct research and development and get beneficial results like HVDC falls directly out of the statement \"there\'s low hanging fruit everywhere, we only need to look for it.\"

IOW, the reason technology is so directional isn\'t because engineers and scientists can do anything or are omniscient but for almost the exact opposite reason. It\'s because, as Einstein pointed out, there is so much unknown that can be very easily understood and put into practice if we only got the right insight.

For an instant example, maybe 2 kilobites of tips could reduce the economic and public health effects of CV-19 by 90%. That\'s trillions of dollars a couple million lives.
I\'m sure all that makes sense, but you forgot to tell us what you meant.


> To be sure, at present population growth rates, there will be only 15 watts of solar power / human in 500 years. This isn\'t enough energy to keep the brain alive.

Don\'t forget to add nuclear reactors. They\'ll light a lot of crops.


The Mars thingy probably won\'t happen anytime soon but there may be other opportunities. Breakthroughs are guaranteed. We just need the right ones..


Bret Cahill
I\'m not sure that tells us anything.

Reality is societies do unlearn things.


NT
 
J

Jasen Betts

Guest
On 2020-08-27, Bret Cahill <bretcahill@aol.com> wrote:
It\'s easy for a lazy thinker -- that\'s everyone in some respect --
to get distracted from the possible by studying thermodynamics which
focuses on the impossible.
You see laziness, I see efficiency.

Thermodynamics can be used as a crude tool to test if an idea is
plausible. It\'s a bit like making sure that the guy you want to
run the marathon actually has legs. However unlike lack of legs,
you can\'t get past the laws of thermodynamics using a system of
elaborate springs.

Saying \"technology is directional\" that is, society and public
policy can direct research and development and get beneficial results
like HVDC falls directly out of the statement \"there\'s low hanging
fruit everywhere, we only need to look for it.\"
I\'m looking, but all I\'m seeing is word salad.

IOW, the reason technology is so directional isn\'t because engineers
and scientists can do anything or are omniscient but for almost the
exact opposite reason. It\'s because, as Einstein pointed out, there
is so much unknown that can be very easily understood and put into
practice if we only got the right insight.

For an instant example, maybe 2 kilobites of tips could reduce the
economic and public health effects of CV-19 by 90%. That\'s trillions
of dollars a couple million lives.
That\'s a political problem, not scientific.

To be sure, at present population growth rates, there will be only
15 watts of solar power / human in 500 years. This isn\'t enough
energy to keep the brain alive.
Evidence that the rates will change.

The Mars thingy probably won\'t happen anytime soon but there may be
other opportunities. Breakthroughs are guaranteed. We just need the
right ones.
Mars will just be more problems.

--
Jasen.
 
B

Bret Cahill

Guest
The graph of productivity from 1870 to 1970 is something many could guess.

Gordon overlooks the powerful effect of political freedom on innovation. It started after the emancipation, spiked with Roosevelt and came to an end under Nixon.

https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2016/08/18/why-economic-growth-will-fall/

When Einstein pointed out that most was still unknown he was talking about science, but that would hold for technology for centuries even if no more discoveries were ever made in science.

There are a lot of pre 1950s tech inventions still out there. To be sure not all are going to be as important as refrigeration.

In the long run it could very well be an exponential decay, but that might be centuries. Right now the problem is lack of political freedom and imagination.

\"In reality, above all Voltaire envies the English for their literary freedom but cares hardly a bit for their political freedom, as if the former could ever exist for long without the latter.\"

- Alexis Tocqueville, The Ancien Regime and the Revolution
 
B

Bret Cahill

Guest
The graph of productivity from 1870 to 1970 is something many could guess.

Gordon overlooks the powerful effect of political freedom on innovation. It started after the emancipation, spiked with Roosevelt and came to an end under Nixon.
That doesn\'t mean Nixon played much of a role bringing democratic freedom to an end in the U. S., just that there\'s a lag time of four - 5 generations.

As Tocqueville predicted 4 decades before the industrial revolution, the friends of democracy needed to watch the effect industry would have on society. \"If aristocracy ever returns it will enter through that door.\"

https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2016/08/18/why-economic-growth-will-fall/

When Einstein pointed out that most was still unknown he was talking about science, but that would hold for technology for centuries even if no more discoveries were ever made in science.

There are a lot of pre 1950s tech inventions still out there. To be sure not all are going to be as important as refrigeration.

In the long run it could very well be an exponential decay, but that might be centuries. Right now the problem is lack of political freedom and imagination.

\"In reality, above all Voltaire envies the English for their literary freedom but cares hardly a bit for their political freedom, as if the former could ever exist for long without the latter.\"

- Alexis Tocqueville, The Ancien Regime and the Revolution
 
Toggle Sidebar

Welcome to EDABoard.com

Sponsor

Top