Re: alex's local maxima
Sat, 11 Sep 1999 03:16:14 EDT

In a message dated 9/10/99 11:54:35 PM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

> 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

radio tech comes to mind, although its not nearly as blatant of an example as personal transportation. how long has am/fm been around? we have ultra-wideband pulse radio tech fairly ready for introduction to the public sphere (this is my impression, anyway. are there really any technical hurdles left to be felled?) that is incredibly neater the what we have now. unjamable, low power, very long range, and comes with its own sort of built in encryption...

but does this qualifiy as a local maxima? we have the tech, but for whatever reasons (true, it hasnt been around very long), its not here yet. but what i think might be a more distenct local maxima would be power generation. last time i checked, a vast majority of worldwide generated power was from burning coal. how long have we been burning coal, burning gas, and making dams? nuke power seems to be about the newest in this field, and its ancient, and to boot, its got a horrible reputation...

down with pants!