RE: Challenge of Design Complexity

Robin Hanson (
Tue, 15 Dec 1998 14:40:13 -0800

Billy Brown wrote:
>>> Recent history demonstrates ... you can create
>>> a situation in which the ability of your society to make technological
>>> advances increases faster than the difficulty of taking the next step.
>>> A reasonable extrapolation of the trend would predict a century or
>>> two of steadily-accelerating progress before things begin to change so
>>> fast that an unenhanced human can't cope..
>> What is the "recent history" that shows a "trend" of
>> "steadily-accelerating progress"? No such acceleration shows up in
>> economic trends over the last half century.
>I meant technological progress, not economic growth. Since new inventions
>do not necessarily show up in economic data, even when they have a
>substantial effect on the human condition, concentrating exclusively on
>economic data could easily lead us to miss important facts.

OK, what is recent history of tech progresss that shows acceleration? Patent stats show deceleration, if anything.

Robin Hanson   
RWJF Health Policy Scholar             FAX: 510-643-8614 
140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 510-643-1884