[ExI] the next big thing: was RE: proposed moratorium...
spike66 at att.net
Fri Apr 17 20:13:06 UTC 2009
> > Spike, another suggestion would be to raise the discussion
> to the EP meta level... Keith
> Good idea Keith. Let us go meta, and think about the big
> picture here... spike
For instance, here's an idea. Think of the most recent *big things* which I
will define as a scientific discovery or technological development which
changed everything, such that if that were to be taken away now, society as
we know it would not operate correctly. Here are the ones I thought of:
running water, reliable electric power and internal combustion engines. We
would likely all agree here that if any of these three were to suddenly
break down, society as we have known it would suffer greatly. There are
subcategories which might be treated separately, such as electronics being a
subcategory of electric power. Our society would sort of operate without
all our electronics, but it would certainly gum up the works, ja?
Now think about this. As recently as 1900, most had no indoor plumbing and
almost no one had electric power or used internal combustion engines. Now
we have a hard time imagining life without these things.
I did not include modern medicine on this list, for altho some would be in
immediate trouble without it, the majority would scarcely notice it missing,
at least until the next time we were sick. If the internet suddenly went
down, many of us would suffer greatly, but life would go on.
So my question is this. What is the next big thing that is analogous to
these, where almost no one uses it now, but after it makes market
penetration, to do without it would cause widespread panic or even large
numbers to perish? What is the next big thing? Is there another big thing
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