Re: alex's local maxima

Robert J. Bradbury (
Sat, 11 Sep 1999 01:05:19 -0700 (PDT)

On Fri, 10 Sep 1999, Spike Jones wrote:

> When you think of it, history is full of examples of exactly that,
> societies that stagnated.

Generalization Spike. Did the society stagnate or just the segment of it that historians write about? I would say more societies ended by natural disasters or conquest than by stagnation.

But *in some areas* of our lives, our
> own society seems to be stuck at a local maximum now. One
> example is the air car thing: we are STUCK right now, have
> been for 30 or more years, in personal transportation.

Sure. Personal transport that is [relatively] inexpensive due to economies of scale has put us in a position that is difficult to move. However developments like (a) the aircar; (b) the newer people mover systems [from Rathyeon?]; and (c) aircars make it clear that there are paths away from this local optima.

> We spend more and more money, like desperate and hopeless >
> addicts, on more highways and more roads and more more more,
> yet no matter what, every day, its ten lanes across and all those
> cars are crawling. We are at a local maximum in that area.
I don't think for a minute this is what people desire. Show them a working aicrcar that they can use and I suspect they would dump the $$$) 10K-100K into byying one.