> The seem to be utterly ignoring their models as offering any real insight
> into the possibility that economic output could rise to unheard of levels
> in the next few decades. After all the charts and equations pointing
You know, there's no magic in equations, forcing reality to fit the
plotted curve forever. Sooner or later the physical system passes out
of the regime where the equation did fit, and then you have to invent
another, better describing the total behaviour. Surely the moment,
where reality starts deviating from one model is noteworthy, but then,
it happens all the time.
What we have now is something very far from sustainability, unless we
fix several things pretty damn quick. Still prevailing Carnot-cyclus
energy production is just plain barbaric, human-level automation only
exists as a potentiality at the horizont, so people remain the
bottleneck, we don't have cheap haul to LEO nor understand how to make
long-term stable life-support ecologies (heck, not even suits you can
decently work in), and hence no space culture at all, so there's not
even yet a place to expand to.
Simultaneously, we have old industry countries petrifying in their age
demographics and political climate. This spells a conservative,
short-sightedly risk-averse reality perception, and set of strategies
to deal with it. We have a shift from vision driven people to money
and hedonism driven people, with the resulting slacking off in quality
of education in science and technology. A generation or two of the
kids are frankly going to the dogs. Regarding to science, there's a
dry spell in the memetical weather.
Maybe that's me, but in face of a lots of forecasts going towards
infinity, this particular mix is not exactly healthy. In those 30-40
years until they hit the ceiling, we better get our collective asses
in gear, pronto, orelse these diamond castles in the sky will remain
only mirage, forever.
I've been expecting massive research into nanotechnology to start in
early to mid 1980s. It has been two decades late in coming. Still not
quite at a funding level where I'd like it to see. We could have had
molecular electronics, right *now*. Fuel cell technology is nearly
three decades late in coming, and is still at least 5-10 years
away. In the year 2000, I'm very disappointed with AI/robotics, and
the state of computing in general. Space development is *extremely*
disappointing, and private efforts are right now well below threhold
at where it matters. Of all things, biological sciences including
gerontology are coming along nicely, much better than I've expected.
Of course the doom-sayers are probably similiarly overzealous, so the
ceiling doesn't hang quite as low as advertised. But we sure as hell
need to change our attitude. Some heavy-duty PR is in order.
> towards something incredible happening, they continue to see the future
> in conventional terms. What a letdown.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:50:15 MDT