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Old October 3 2013, 04:27 PM   #158
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Location: Bonney Lake, WA
Re: Technological Stagnation

I recently read a David Weber book called Out of the Dark. Not his strongest effort, but it had a very cool genre-bending twist at the end which I won't spoil.

Anyway, the point he was making throughout the book is that technological advancement isn't a strict weak ordering. In the book, the underlying technology of the alien race was far in advance of ours; they had FTL travel and whatnot. But our technology was much better applied since we had more experience with warfare than they did. For instance, tanks with energy cannons don't mean squat if your armor isn't able to fend off a penetrator round from an Abrams, and heavy lift shuttles to orbit aren't useful if they can't detect an incoming F-22. In the book, the only reason the aliens were able to get a foothold at all is because of their widespread use of orbital kinetic energy weapons.

The point is simply that while revolutionary technological changes are very cool, you shouldn't be so quick to dismiss incremental improvements or new ways of applying existing technologies. Such things can have very important impacts on our lives and culture.
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