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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old September 12 2013, 12:47 AM   #91
Edit_XYZ
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
MacLeod wrote: View Post

Aren't car engines of today both Petrol and Diesel based, more efficent and cleaner than a car from the 1970's?
Yes, today's car engines are somewhat more efficient than in the '70, etc.
This relatively small advance in over 40 years is not snail-paced when compared to the advancements in transportation between, for example, 1930 and 1970?
What advancements were you expecting, exactly? Most of the limitations of cars are actually human limitations. Cars don't go 300 miles an hour because humans can't safely drive them that quickly, for instance.
There are plenty of potential avenues of advancement, Robert.
What about the cost of travelling 1 km by car/plane going down? Cheap, easy access to LEO? Why not easy access to the solar system?
These, achieved not necessarily by continuing to use and marginally improving technologies ~150 years/50 years old (as we do now), but by creating new technologies?
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Old September 12 2013, 05:40 AM   #92
sojourner
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Contrary to some opinions, most technologies do not follow Moore's Law.
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Old September 12 2013, 06:09 PM   #93
Captain Nebula
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Re: Technological Stagnation

DarthTom wrote: View Post
Also, as I understand it everyone on the road would have to have GPS and many people are concerned about the privacy issues related to that.
Well, if they would start prosecuting hackers we wouldn't have that problem.
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Old September 12 2013, 06:27 PM   #94
THE Robert Maxwell
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Are you implying that malicious hackers don't get prosecuted?
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Old September 12 2013, 10:30 PM   #95
sojourner
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Captain Nebula wrote: View Post
DarthTom wrote: View Post
Also, as I understand it everyone on the road would have to have GPS and many people are concerned about the privacy issues related to that.
Well, if they would start prosecuting hackers we wouldn't have that problem.
You just made Kevin Mitnick cry
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Old September 13 2013, 11:06 PM   #96
publiusr
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
I don't think drivers help unload, though. There are people at the endpoint who do that.

A warehouse near me, Wood Fruitticher, has its drivers unload even long trailers all day long by themselves. It takes a whole warehouse crew to load it (perhaps replaced by KIVA systems one day)--but the rate of the poor drivers who get hurt having to drive and unload it during the day is just sad.

Ironically, the jobs that need the automated the most may not be.

Warehouses employ a lot of people doing monotonous work, and KIVA could replace that.

But the poor truck driver has to go out in the field, well away from flat, gridded, robot friendly warehouses. He may have to go up stairs, do complex tasks humanoid robots are decades away from doing well, etc.

The truck may well drive itself, and not have to do worry about being improperly loaded due to lazy workers. But it is the worst part of the task that the human still has to do--the situation-variant fuzzy logic stuff.

The driver enjoys driving, but not the backbreaking work. So the robot hasn't really done him much good. In gridded city streets, with smaller vans, maybe you can get away with a little more.

Still, the driverless system is safer, and less safe, due to lack of interest in its field of view. It is made to scan the road, not watch children play as they pursue a ball between two parked cars which may block a sensor. Yes there are some pedestrian avoidance measures.

Now I have seen visuals of intersections where there are no lights, and the car streams pass through each other. But if an engine stumbles, that could through the timing off just enough to cause a crash. On an interstate, drafting saves energy, the cars would have to communicate to keep the timing up, but that shouldn't be a problem.

Off road variables will still pose some problems. It is still easier to fly than drive.
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Old September 14 2013, 12:31 AM   #97
gturner
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Location: Kentucky
Re: Technological Stagnation

^ Once you have driverless cars that can almost instantly start braking to avoid a pedestrian, there's no longer any reason for pedestrians to pay attention to cars. In fact, jaywalking will become a hilarious and fun thing for kids to do.
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Old September 14 2013, 05:34 AM   #98
Snaploud
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Re: Technological Stagnation

It's a bit ridiculous to expect scientists to create a timeline for technological breakthroughs. By definition, the breakthroughs haven't happened yet, and there's really no way to tell when they'll happen. Anti-gravity, for instance, may be invented in 2 days, 200 years, 2,000 years, or never.

The corollary is that its impossible for us to know if we're experiencing technological stagnation. We're obviously experiencing some progress, but it's impossible to know if human civilization is evolving at a slow pace, a moderate pace, or a fast pace. We've never met any other species with advanced civilizations, and we don't have access to parallel realities to act as a point of reference.
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Old September 14 2013, 08:11 AM   #99
Tiberius
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Into Darkness wrote: View Post
Let's be blunt here, technologically speaking we've stagnated.
We were supposed to have flying cars and hover boards in 2015 and looking at the movie they'd had them for a while before that. So where are they?
Okay, since you're basing this off a movie from 1985, let's compare today's technology to what was around back then and we'll see if we've stagnated.

Some stuff we have today that wasn't around back then is smart phones, lightweight computers, the internet, GPS and flatscreen TVs. Not to mention all the medical advances.

So I don't see how you can claim that we've stagnated.
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Old September 15 2013, 07:22 PM   #100
RAMA
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Re: Technological Stagnation

This is probably the most ridiculous post ever on this bulletin board...I've gone over why flying cars are not the height of technological civilization here before. Infotech is the driving force behind accelerated change. Far from being stagnant, just try and keep up with weekly, much less daily advances in technology these days, it's just about impossible.

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Old September 15 2013, 08:54 PM   #101
publiusr
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Re: Technological Stagnation

RAMA wrote: View Post
I've gone over why flying cars are not the height of technological civilization
RAMA
This is an example of how--in some ways--science fiction has spoiled us.

Wingless flying cars in an atmosphere, and winged RLV spaceplanes orbiting in a vacuum.

But we find airplanes and capsules, and rockets boring.

But that is taking advantage of the local environment. Winged RLVs and flying craft with no wings bespeak freer energy and less restraint.

Worse, making spaceflight look eay makes people want to sepnd less on incremental improvements to curret architecture in terms of size. Increased capability gets a little tougher.

Star Wars is the biggest offender, as is the shuttlecraft in that the craft are all payload. It would take large rockets to put either into space, and then they would just be satellites stuck in orbital path circles. No atmosphere to bank against. Solar sailing will be as dynamic as it gets, short of NTRs, NSWRs and nuclear pulse detonation craft.

Once again--this will be more public works than a couple of folks bodging things together in a garage, a la Explorers.

For an example of how even modest advancements in aerospace are abandoned by venture capitalists--proving they really don't love risk--I give you the book FREE FLIGHT about the Air Taxi/Very Light Jet debacle.
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Old September 24 2013, 12:42 AM   #102
Irishman
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Into Darkness wrote: View Post
Let's be blunt here, technologically speaking we've stagnated.
We were supposed to have flying cars and hover boards in 2015 and looking at the movie they'd had them for a while before that. So where are they? we don't have anything remotely like anti-gravity.

Where are our moon colonies? Mars colonies?

Are we ever going to get anti-gravity? is it possible such technology does not and never will exist? What does that mean to our development as a species?
If all we will ever have to get off this planet is rockets then we're basically stuck here and that doesn't bode well with an ever increasing population and a planet with limited resources.

We should be mining Mars by now but we're not.

Why are we so far behind? we have all these fast paced industrialised economies, trillions of pounds world combined economy. Why is it so hard for every nation on Earth to throw some money into a planetary project to get off this rock?

Where are the floating sea cities?

All I ever see are people putting forward conceptual ideas and that's both where it begins and where it ends.

We're going nowhere at all. We'll still be in the same place a hundred years from now, probably even two hundred years from now.
We might aswell get used to the idea that as a species we're stagnant and a failure.
Well, I think what we're seeing is that the majority of those "predictions" about future tech from futurists back in the day were little more than shots in the dark.

We've certainly gotten better at offering contextual predictions of coming technological innovations. See here http://futuretimeline.net/index.htm .

One thing that makes it far more difficult to predict the future is the concept of the technological singularity. The site above is based on Kurzweil's ideas on artificial intelligence, and how quickly tech will develop possibly within the next 20-305 years.
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Old September 24 2013, 01:04 AM   #103
M'rk, son of Mogh
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Re: Technological Stagnation

DarthTom wrote: View Post
Lindley wrote: View Post
Possibly true. Don't underestimate computers, though. They're getting pretty good at stuff like that.
i'd imagine accidents with driverless cars will happen when the car fails to anticipate how irrational us humans can be sometimes - especially while driving.
But if the other cars are controlled by computers as well, there will be no more irrational driving.
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Old September 24 2013, 10:51 AM   #104
JarodRussell
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Re: Technological Stagnation

M'rk, son of Mogh wrote: View Post
DarthTom wrote: View Post
Lindley wrote: View Post
Possibly true. Don't underestimate computers, though. They're getting pretty good at stuff like that.
i'd imagine accidents with driverless cars will happen when the car fails to anticipate how irrational us humans can be sometimes - especially while driving.
But if the other cars are controlled by computers as well, there will be no more irrational driving.
You have irrational pedestrians, animals and bikers.
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Old September 24 2013, 03:11 PM   #105
Alidar Jarok
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
Or perhaps you would like to compare the progress in transportation technology until the '70s to progress since the '70s.

Transportation technology DID stagnate since the '70s.
The 1970s is an odd cut off since we now have fuel injection instead of carburetors, computer-controlled systems to increase efficiency (incorporating by reference the massive advances in computer technology since the 1970s), etc. Automobile technology today is about as different from 1970 as 1970 was to 1930.
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