[extropy-chat] extropy-chat Digest, Vol 40, Issue 25

John B discwuzit at yahoo.com
Thu Jan 25 19:21:22 UTC 2007

Message: 21
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2007 21:47:59 +0000
Subject: [extropy-chat] Progress? What Progress?

> There is an enjoyable rant in today's Guardian newspaper.
> <http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1997242,00.html>

Thanks for the link!

> The age of technological revolution is 100 years dead
> Dazzled by neophiliacs, we have lost the power of scepticism - the
> new is grotesquely oversold, the tried and tested neglected
> Simon Jenkins        Wednesday January 24, 2007
> I rise each morning, shave with soap and razor, don clothes of 
> cotton and wool, read a paper, drink a coffee heated by gas or 
> electricity and go to work with the aid of petrol and an internal
> combustion engine. At a centrally heated office I type on a 
> Qwerty keyboard; I might later visit a pub or theatre. Most people
> I know do likewise.
> Not one of these activities has altered qualitatively over the past
> century, while in the previous hundred years they altered beyond
> recognition. We do not live in the age of technological revolution. 
> We live in the age of technological stasis, but do not realise it.

Did you or your neighbors raise, weave, dye, & tailor said cotton and
wool (or spike's leather)? Who designed those particular styles, and
how'd they become popular? Were those articles you read written by
locals, or were they spread from afar at the speed of the net? 

Where'd that coffee come from, to say nothing of how it got brewed? How
about the petrol, gas, or electricity - who produced 'em, and how are
the funds for their use gathered, distributed & spent? 

The central heating - how is it controlled? How about the thermal
insulation that it relies on and the materials science behind it?
When's the last time you heard of someone causing critical problems for
themselves and their neighbors by working on the lighting and/or
heating, unlike the legendary Mrs O'Leary's Cow?

Is this stasis? In my opinion - no. It avoids many of the major changes
in the last 100 years, or at least attempts to gloss over them with
historical normality. 

Quoting from the cited article, "To Edgerton the thesis that
civilisation must innovate or die is rubbish. Nations are not sharks
that must move to breathe."

Tell that to the Japanese facing Nelson's guns. China and opium
problems. England and the Spanish Armada. The US and islamic fanaticism
or South American narco-capitalism. *shrug* 

The 'movement' modes are different, but stasis can (still IMO) bring
big problems.


Don't pick lemons.
See all the new 2007 cars at Yahoo! Autos.

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