alex's local maxima

Spike Jones (
Fri, 10 Sep 1999 23:55:20 -0700

About a week ago Alex Bokov posted something that has been rattling around in my brain ever since: that our society is threatened by hitting local maxima and stagnating. Perhaps this is a greater threat than military nanotech or singularity.

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

Other examples? spike