[ExI] What's Wrong With Academic Futurists?

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Tue Jan 28 13:29:21 UTC 2014

On Mon, Jan 27, 2014 at 10:51 PM,  Robin D Hanson <rhanson at gmu.edu> wrote:
> On Jan 26, 2014, at 8:18 PM, Keith Henson wrote:
>>> If you have no confidence in "people's" ability to predict, I don't see how
>>> that can be the basis for preferring some people's ability over others.
>> I think I said I took them seriously, over people who have not done
>> any work.  Their predictions tend to be plausible, not accurate.
> I can't see the point of plausibility that doesn't lead to more accuracy.

Let's take my own work as an example.  I think it is plausible that
humans will solve the energy, carbon, climate, and economic problems
stemming from limited fossil fuels, particularly oil with solar power
from space. The only way I can see space based solar power taking over
the market is with a cheap transportation scheme.  Laser propulsion
would do that, but so would a space elevator if we got strong enough

Dose that mean it will happen?  I can't say so with confidence because
the energy market could collapse from an epidemic that wiped out most
of the race. Or PV paint and cheap storage could take over the market.
 Or some version of cold fusion could be rapidly fitted to existing
coal facilities.

As Yogi said.


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