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

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Old September 28 2013, 02:19 PM   #136
gturner
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Re: Technological Stagnation

farmkid wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post
Yes, I believe you are agreeing with me. Cars can do that on their own. no central computer needed.
No, if the cars' actions are not coordinated in some way, either by communication with one another or central control, they then know nothing about what other cars are going to do until they do it. With central control or communication, you could have several miles of cars on the freeway, all traveling at 200+ mph, separated by mere inches.
That'll never be done. A blown tire at 200 mph would kill a whole lot of people, as would a teenager throwing a cinder block off an overpass just to see what happens (one of my friends actually had that as a legal case).

Or multiply the kinetic energy of hitting a deer at 65 mph by ten. The debris from the first collision will come flying off, impact the other cars (and possibly oncoming ones), making for a very bad day on the highway.
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Old September 28 2013, 02:45 PM   #137
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Re: Technological Stagnation

This is what I call a "steampunk debate." The ideas become more and more extreme because they do not solve a problem, they merely compound it with engineering demands. Meanwhile, congested highways will probably be "solved" from a totally unexpected direction—fewer people will need to travel. That is, those people who can "telecommute" will do so, and many jobs that require physical interaction will become automated.

Even that is not a "solution," it is merely a paradigm shift. Fans of history know that traffic congestion is inevitable in every age. For example, Rome had to restrict who could enter the city at what times, with and without a cart, etc. The only difference today is that the technology is more complicated. Around the turn of the 20th century the "by-products" of horses were a major issue in cities. (Horses could at least take you home "on automatic," but cars cured the horse problems. Maybe we're going backward, or merely shifting around one set of problems for another?) As more people telecommute, or automated machines fill in for minimum wage jobs, we'll have daily slow-downs and outages on the Web to dwarf the release of iOS 7.

And if you thought we had bandwidth problems now, where every person on the planet has a cellular mobile device, just wait until every car needs "mission critical" access, too. We'll need a whole new spectrum and be up to IPv12 at that point. Your sonic toothbrush will have an address.
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Old September 29 2013, 02:37 AM   #138
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Re: Technological Stagnation

sojourner wrote: View Post
Contrary to some opinions, most technologies do not follow Moore's Law.
When they become info technologies, they do. Fact. Look under:

DNA Sequencing, Memory, Communications, the Internet, and Miniaturization

http://www.kurzweilai.net/the-law-of...rating-returns

Also, per the OP:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/gilpress...doesnt-get-it/

http://amasci.com/weird/end.html

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Old September 29 2013, 03:17 AM   #139
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Snaploud wrote: View Post
Humans love convenience. Anybody who spends ten hours a week in traffic will jump at the chance to own a self-driving car.
I'd jump at the chance not to own ANY car. I'd love it if mass transit was universal. Imagine being able to walk down your driveway and catch a 'personal pod' that could take you anywhere. (Central control may not be necessary for cars, but it damn well would be for 'pods.') Or, failing that, I'd settle for my city just having a real mass transit system - subways, light rail, etc. - as opposed to some barely functional bus service.

Some people enjoy driving - not me. I'd be perfectly happy to let it go. Not only is mass transit more convenient, but it's cheaper - you don't have to worry about taxes, storage, maintenance, insurance, gas, etc. if you don't own a car!
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Old September 29 2013, 10:41 AM   #140
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Re: Technological Stagnation

In the UK at rush hour, congestion is an utter headache. This day and age 3 lane motorways is just not adequate enough. They should either extend all motorways by two more lanes or consider building a double decker motorway system.

On top of this I think cars this day and age should come with an option to switch to entirely electric power when on a motorway and the motorways could then be designed to recharge cars as they drive along them. I think to do something like that on all roads or carriageways is far too expensive and silly but major motorways could potentially do this. When the cars leave the motorway they could then switch back to petrol.
Cars though of course would need to be charged via number plate recognition every time they enter onto the motorways but its saves you money on petrol so it wouldn't be like you are losing money because you are saving petrol.
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Old September 29 2013, 07:19 PM   #141
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Re: Technological Stagnation

farmkid wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post
Yes, I believe you are agreeing with me. Cars can do that on their own. no central computer needed.
No, if the cars' actions are not coordinated in some way, either by communication with one another or central control, they then know nothing about what other cars are going to do until they do it. With central control or communication, you could have several miles of cars on the freeway, all traveling at 200+ mph, separated by mere inches. One needs to get off in a mile, and the others all know it, so they gradually make room for that car to move over and get off. If there's a reason to slow down, they can all do so together. If each car only knows about the other cars actions when it actually happens, they can't coordinate their movements and they have to keep sufficient distance between them and go slow enough so that they can react appropriately to the actions of other cars.

Now, I suppose you could have the cars communicate with each other with brake lights, turn signals, and such, but then the cars will only know about the cars in their immediate vicinity and can't really coordinate their actions with more distant cars.
Central control creates more problems than it solves. Allowing cars to go a lot faster makes little sense because of how energy inefficient it is. Your average car tops out its fuel efficiency around 55 miles an hour, and declines precipitously beyond that point. Cars that can easily go 200mph and do it efficiently aren't even on the drawing board today. You'd have to address that before it makes any sense at all to have central control. As gturner said, there's also a much higher accident risk at such speeds. The only place such high speeds even make sense is intercity/interstate highways, in which case you'd be much better served having high-speed trains instead.

Autonomous self-driving cars exist today and could be a common sight in the next decade or two. Central control of them makes very little sense, though.
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Old September 29 2013, 09:33 PM   #142
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Metryq wrote: View Post

Even that is not a "solution," it is merely a paradigm shift. Fans of history know that traffic congestion is inevitable
Now there is where your technological stagnation comes back into play. Imagine if someone had a great solution to, say, driverless car streams passing through each other at an intersection--but never gets a chance to perfect it due to telecommuting.

I can't help but wonder how many technological work arounds have been averted due to paradigm shifts.

Somebody may have a solution for vertical holds on old TV sets that might be useful in other fields of research that will never be discovered due to digital TVs

Or what if someone found a one page proof of Fermat that worked--Wiles may never have done his longer, more valuable paper.

Now I get that everything seems like re-capitulation. Engines get more efficient, consumer electronics get more nifty--it seems like it takes more and more effort to get less and less return.

Now every once in awhile, things will knock me for a loop--like the concept of solid light, small accelerators, etc.
http://nextbigfuture.com/2013/09/pho...ike-light.html
http://nextbigfuture.com/2013/09/acc...ured-chip.html

The Amplituhedron Crystal
http://nextbigfuture.com/2013/09/a-j...ic-object.html

Now I am still not bullish on all the nano-rage. At that scale, a dust mote is an asteroid, a dust mite is Godzilla, static cling is felt like neutron star gravity, Brownian motion is like being shelled by artillery, a droplet of water is an ocean of molasses, and heat is death.

Last edited by publiusr; September 29 2013 at 09:44 PM.
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Old September 29 2013, 09:54 PM   #143
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Do any model builders here remember the AMT AMTronic concept vehicle? Pie in the sky, of course. But it seemed within the realm of plausibility back in 1969. After all, if we had just landed men on the moon, anything was possible!
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Old September 29 2013, 09:58 PM   #144
publiusr
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Makes a good shuttle model with modifications. Forbin did several IIRC.
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Old September 30 2013, 05:54 PM   #145
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Autonomous self-driving cars exist today and could be a common sight in the next decade or two. Central control of them makes very little sense, though.
Some central control makes sense. There is an interesting new[er] GPS driving app for Apple and Android devices called, 'Waze.'

Waze using input from multiplle different drivers all logged in calculates not necessarily the shortest route to your destination but rather the fastest using current/realtime traffic conditions.

In a similar effort to control traffc congestion, the city of Los Angeles completely sychronized all of its traffic signals - all 4,400 of them - in theory permitting someone to drive from dwtn Los Angeles to Santa Monioca without ever stopping.

LA synchronizes traffic signals

In an ideal world any driving assist or completely driverless car would also interface with some additional technology to optimize the route to drive, minimizing traffic.

Wouldn't some global coordination have to exist to make this feasible?
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Old September 30 2013, 06:23 PM   #146
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Re: Technological Stagnation

DarthTom wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Autonomous self-driving cars exist today and could be a common sight in the next decade or two. Central control of them makes very little sense, though.
Some central control makes sense. There is an interesting new[er] GPS driving app for Apple and Android devices called, 'Waze.'

Waze using input from multiplle different drivers all logged in calculates not necessarily the shortest route to your destination but rather the fastest using current/realtime traffic conditions.

In a similar effort to control traffc congestion, the city of Los Angeles completely sychronized all of its traffic signals - all 4,400 of them - in theory permitting someone to drive from dwtn Los Angeles to Santa Monioca without ever stopping.

LA synchronizes traffic signals

In an ideal world any driving assist or completely driverless car would also interface with some additional technology to optimize the route to drive, minimizing traffic.

Wouldn't some global coordination have to exist to make this feasible?
That's not "central control," that's still a car (computer) making decisions based on the information available. The kind of central control being discussed is one in which every vehicle's speed and movement is regulated by an outside source. That just doesn't make much sense because it doesn't offer any significant advantages to contemporary driving parameters.
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Old September 30 2013, 06:29 PM   #147
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
That's not "central control," that's still a car (computer) making decisions based on the information available. The kind of central control being discussed is one in which every vehicle's speed and movement is regulated by an outside source. That just doesn't make much sense because it doesn't offer any significant advantages to contemporary driving parameters.
But lets say in morning traffic we have 5,000 people all going to around the same area about the same time. In theory using a centralized routing system some of the cars would take route X whereas another gorup of the cars would take route Y to maximize road efficiency and reduce travel times.

Some type of centralized coordination would have to occur to make this happen?
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Old September 30 2013, 06:42 PM   #148
Robert Maxwell
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Re: Technological Stagnation

DarthTom wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
That's not "central control," that's still a car (computer) making decisions based on the information available. The kind of central control being discussed is one in which every vehicle's speed and movement is regulated by an outside source. That just doesn't make much sense because it doesn't offer any significant advantages to contemporary driving parameters.
But lets say in morning traffic we have 5,000 people all going to around the same area about the same time. In theory using a centralized routing system some of the cars would take route X whereas another gorup of the cars would take route Y to maximize road efficiency and reduce travel times.

Some type of centralized coordination would have to occur to make this happen?
Humans are notoriously poor at centrally planning those kinds of systems. Computer science tells us that a self-organizing network of independent agents (that is, individual cars that are aware of their surroundings and even traffic data but not under central control) will often solve routing problems far more efficiently than a central system could.

The Internet provides plenty of real-world relevance here. Routing is decentralized and yet quite efficient and effective.
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Old September 30 2013, 07:00 PM   #149
DarthTom
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post

The Internet provides plenty of real-world relevance here. Routing is decentralized and yet quite efficient and effective.
Privacy rights people wouldn't find such a system acceptable regardless. It's just interesting conversation.

On a related topic of centralized computing it is interesting that some police departments are using computer predictive modeling to help identify where crime may occur and police are being dispatched lowering crime rates.

Minority Report type crime predication
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Old September 30 2013, 07:03 PM   #150
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Re: Technological Stagnation

We could of course say restricted automated cars to High Speed Roads i.e. Motorways, whilst letting the driver control the car when its not on the Motorway.

Of course should a driver faile to indicate that they are ready to take control the autmated systems pulss the car over until such time as the driver indicates that they are ready to assume control.
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