[Paleopsych] Robin Hanson: The Next Really Big Enormous Thing

David McFadzean david_mcfadzean at hotmail.com
Thu Oct 14 16:06:59 UTC 2004

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steve Hovland" <shovland at mindspring.com>
To: "'The new improved paleopsych list'" <paleopsych at paleopsych.org>
Sent: Sunday, October 10, 2004 10:07 AM
Subject: RE: [Paleopsych] Robin Hanson: The Next Really Big Enormous Thing

> I think there are some errors of fact in this essay.
> He talks about increases in the size of animals.
> We know that a long time ago there were many
> animals that were larger than anything that lives
> today.  This points to a collapse phenomenon
> that turned back progress dramatically.

Not true. The blue whale is the largest animal that has ever lived.

> Is there any evidence that human brains are
> increasing in size?  It should be possible to
> measure it from decade to decade if it is
> actually happening.

Hanson didn't claim that human brain size is increasing, and certainly not
at a rate that would be measurable from decade to decade.

> In terms of economic progress, we know that
> in spite of the good life in first world countries,
> much of the world's population lives in material
> poverty.  Our ability to distribute the output
> of industry has not growth exponentially.

There is an endless list of metrics that are not growing exponentially. How
is this relevant?

> At the moment we are all waking up to the
> reality of Peak Oil.

Pointing out that the current S-curve is flattening in no way shows that a
higher S-curve is impossible.

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