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Old June 13 2012, 02:56 PM   #144
Robert Maxwell
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Re: David Brin's latest novel, and a TED talk

You're still talking about nascent technologies that may not pan out.

We used to think nanotech would do all sorts of things for us. We've had to check our expectations numerous times in that area.

As for solar power: how do you store it? Don't say "batteries." Existing battery technology doesn't scale. I guess you could say "fuel cells," but those may not go mainstream either.

The bottom line is, you can't predict the trajectory technology will take. Technologies that look promising today may be dead in 5 years, or they may get stuck in R&D hell for decades, like fusion power. So many technological breakthroughs have been "right around the corner" for decades, and they still aren't here. Why do you think any of the stuff you post about will be any different? You don't know; I don't know. There are too many variables. You are certain we'll find a solution in time, based on extrapolations of current trends--and such extrapolations are so simplistic as to be meaningless. I recognize that nobody can know that for sure--either we will, or we won't.
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