Technological Limits

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Bowser, Mar 3, 2018.

  1. origin In a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect. Valued Senior Member

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    It is? What thing is that?
    What does that mean?
    I don't think that is our nature.
    It sounds like you talked to and insane Physicist, since what you think he said is nonsense.
     
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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Heh. Was that grumpy scientist's name Kelvin Jr perhaps?

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  5. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I read that some time ago and could not help but think the arogance that had him saying those words is seemingly with us even in these times.

    Folk dont get it...we dont know what we dont know that we dont know.

    Life in the solar system..of course not...my prediction ...we will find it if we looked..forget gravity waves and particle accelerators lets get missions to look for life.

    Alex
     
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  7. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    Born in Belfast, Ireland ...
    June 26, 1824

    180 years on and the americans still do not get the irish sense of humour.

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    if i could recal his name i would not be able to repeat it.
    suffice to say his tone, intination & emotional disposition suggested episodic depresion.
    maybe his high school sweatheart had just dumped him in exchange for a same-sex relationship & he felt the world was about to end.

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  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Good thing I'm a Canadian Irishman.

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  9. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    It's possible.

    I think that there will always be unanswered questions, both scientific and philosophical (they kind of blur into one another): Why is there something rather than nothing? Where did the laws of physics come from? Why does reality conform to logic and mathematics? What's happening in the nearest stellar system that we haven't yet visited? The universe will be hugely mysterious for the foreseeable future.

    But I'm not convinced that we will always be in a position to answer many of the more conventional scientific questions that are still outstanding. Investigating fundamental physics might require generating higher energies than is technically possible. Exploring the still unexplored 99.999...% of the universe might require faster than light travel. Time travel might always be impossible for us (so we may never observe things like the origin of life).

    What's more, our present kind of scientific/technological civilization probably isn't going to last forever. If/when it collapses (like the fall of Rome) after our civilization is thoroughly globalized, we may enter into a dark age deeper and darker than anything seen before in human history. (Especially if that collapse is accompanied by nuclear war, killer pandemics or whatever.) Assuming that human life survives, it might arguably result in a permanent neo-feudalism, a never-ending post-apocalyptic scenario. So science may wither and blow away like dust in a 'Mad Max' world in which survival and warlords' small-scale local power is the only concern.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  10. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    4,888
    It seems like air travel is kind of confined by the physics of moving through the atmosphere. In the early days of flight, all kinds of crazy aircraft designs were tried. Only some worked and only some of those were efficient. Progress since the 1950's has mostly been incremental, smaller improvements in engines (turbofans) and materials (carbon composites).

    I'd guess that most technologies evolve that way. A period of wild creativity at the beginning, then a long period of smaller and smaller incremental improvements on what works.
     
  11. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    We would be replaced / superceded before we reached whatever hypothetical boundary we might otherwise have had. I mean, just by proceeding deep into or toward Clarke's third law domain itself, we would by definition reach the point where we create our transhuman and posthuman successors. You can't arrive at an uppermost hypothetical boundary without having to mark "those guys" off the list as part of the chain of accomplishments along the way to such an ultimate finish line.

    But once they enter the picture, we'll be creatively surpassed in terms of design, engineering, purpose or function which could interest the original or unmodified type of human being -- or be conceived within the imagination of the latter's limited needs. Otherwise, innovation is an open-ended endeavor for any successors to ourselves which we either deliberately invent or by historic acts enable many technological species to eventually be introduced into the world over future ages.

    The different rules, dimensions, and properties of simulated realities alone would ensure ceaseless permutations of the bizarre and their exploitation by either their virtual denizens or lingering outer gods / creators. Especially when those programs are left running, evolving, and splintering on their own while riding on and unfolding in the picoscience substrates of celestial body sized, self-repairing, technological space-organisms hibernating during their long, slow voyages between the stars.

    - - -
     
  12. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    [ DUPE ]
     
  13. pluto2 Registered Senior Member

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    Technology is limited because the natural resources of the Earth are in finite supply.

    It's called scarcity and economics would not exist without it. Many of the resources of this planet are finite and many others have alternative uses.

    If the Earth's resources were infinite and everyone could have what he wants then economics wouldn't exist.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarcity

    The Earth's carrying capacity is finite and in fact we are already running short of some resources such as clean drinking water, metals, rare earth minerals, medical isotopes, helium and phosphorous.

    When we exceed the Earth's carrying capacity due to human overpopulation then we'll be in serious trouble.

    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational...rces-to-support-the-worlds-population/5511900

    http://www.dw.com/en/the-earth-is-e...sources-faster-than-it-can-provide/a-39924823

    http://www.businesspundit.com/resources-running-out/

    https://www.ranker.com/list/things-the-world-is-running-out-of-090915/mike-rothschild
     
  14. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Would you be happy with a few tons of iron ore, coal and petroleum to get you to work? Or would you prefer that someone turn that into a car for you to use?

    If the latter is true, then economics would still exist in its current form.
     
  15. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    If everyone had what they wanted, I am pretty sure no one would work in coal mining, much less drive to drive to work.

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  16. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    What would you eat? Dirt? And what would you live in? More dirt? And what if someone came by and kicked you out of your nice dirt?
     
  17. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    If everyone had what they wanted, what would I (either as an individual or collectively as a community) be using to reimburse someone for performing skills I may not have (like food production, housing construction and civil security)?
    Obviously its a very hypothetical scenario, but it should also be clear that this current model of economics we have speaks in the language of "needs" (or to be more precise, "wants" dressed up as "needs"). Start playing with those needs and you start playing with the very fabric of economy and power. Means of production (how our needs are met) determines political structures.
     
  18. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    How would "everyone have what they wanted?" You previously said "If the Earth's resources were infinite and everyone could have what he wants then economics wouldn't exist." Having infinite resources does not equate to having what you want.

    Are you positing a case where not only are resources unlimited, but that an industry that requires no labor (or non-material inputs) exists to make everything you want?
     
  19. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    I came in mid way.

    That is true.

    Obviously it's a hypothetical scenario, and it depends very much on the technical details of how unlimited resources are distributed. But if we go by the general rule of "everyone having what they wanted", it seems pretty obvious to me that it would also usher in a new type of political and economic system. If a community is self satisfied ("has everything they want"), somewhere along the way they would have dumped an economic system that instills every sort of conceivable want. So digging up coal or driving to work in a place that sticks dohickeys to widgets might not be the need-driven activites that they are in current society.
     
  20. Michael 345 Bali in Nov closer Valued Senior Member

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    They might have said so but I doubt it

    The"unlimited" gives it away

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  21. Edont Knoff Registered Senior Member

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    Usually progress becomes harder the farther one already is on the curve, but I would sassume that there never will be a full halt, just slower and slower progress.

    For the sooner or later - just these days a lot of theories show a lack of explanatory power, both on the sub-atomic and astronomic scales, so I would say we are moving towards a point where radically new ideas will show up. So - in my view - later.
     
  22. TheFrogger Registered Senior Member

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    If the end of technological advancement is reached, humanity will overtake technology. Humanity will become technology. We will be the masters of our own enslavement. The only escape will be the extinction of society itself, just as the extinction of technology was responsible for our captivity.
     

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