Yet another weird SF fan


I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan
 

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Has Progress Stalled?

According to many pessimists (example here), progress has stalled. As far as I can tell, the progress that is occurring is not particularly important because:

  • Technology A is not evidence that progress is occurring because it is a purely theoretical idea with no possible products.
    Theoretical example: the “ems” Robin Hanson speculates about.
  • Technology B is not evidence that progress is occurring although it is no longer purely theoretical but it is still confined to laboratories.
    Actual example: Detecting extra-solar planets.
  • Technology C is not evidence that progress is occurring although it is no longer confined to laboratories but it is still only used for occasional stunts.
    Actual example: IBM's Watson.
  • Technology D is not evidence that progress is occurring although it is no longer only used for occasional stunts but it is still only affordable by giant organizations.
    Actual example: Planetary exploration by robots.
  • Technology E is not evidence that progress is occurring although it is no longer only affordable by giant organizations but it is still unaffordable for individuals who aren't mind-bogglingly rich.
    Actual example: Space tourism.
  • Technology F is not evidence that progress is occurring although it is no longer unaffordable for individuals who aren't mind-bogglingly rich but it is still beyond the wallet of most people on Earth.
    Actual example: 3D printing.
  • Technology G is not evidence that progress is occurring although it is no longer beyond the wallet of most people on Earth but it hasn't actually progressed; it has merely gotten cheaper (and is also used for very undignified purposes).
    Actual example: this blog.

1 Comments:

Blogger ErisGuy said...

Oddly enough, detecting extra-solar planets is not confined to laboratories.

http://lensvid.com/gear/diy-exoplanet-detector-using-dslr/

5:41 AM  

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