One of the mantras that's been passed around Silicon Valley since around 2010 has been the phrase:
Peter Thiel We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters
I have a feeling this isn't just the sentiment of some spoiled Valley billionaire, but something that a lot of people probably have. I mean, what would you rather be able to play around with--instagram, or seeing real life TvT take place on the moon?
Poll: What would you rather have?
Tanks and marines shooting up the moon (41)
Instagram! billion dollar photo frames ftw (10)
51 total votes
Your vote: What would you rather have?
(Vote): Instagram! billion dollar photo frames ftw (Vote): Tanks and marines shooting up the moon
One of the main arguments in the NASA thread has been how private enterprise is better at allocating tech spending than the government is. But that might not necessarily be the case.
The point here is that some technologies--the ones that are exceptionally "out-of-the-box" (the internet) or where the initial capital investment is crazy-high (think setting up a nuclear fuel cycle for the first time) may require the government to actually take a lead. The reason for this, I believe, isn't necessarily indicative of a failure of capitalism, but rather, a limitation--there are somethings which a joint-stock corporation, quite possibly the most important Anglo-Saxon contribution to mankind, is just not equipped to do. And developing highly speculative, crazy technologies may be one of them.
Maybe then, this is why most of the tech improvements coming out of the very capitalist silicon valley model of today are apps and social media--because they don't require a lot of startup cash, and the timeline from idea creation to first investment to success/failure is much, much shorter than that of a more "traditional" technology. So the question then becomes-- are you willing to pay money to the government to push these big picture projects?
Do you think it's worth it? Or do you think that such desires are stupid, and we should just be satisfied with, maybe, in two years, a facebook app that scans a photo of that hot girl down the bar and finds her email address and cell phone number--instead of being able to walk up to her and tell her that you're heading to the moon/Mars/infinity-and-beyond next year?
Check out my buddy's startup: http://techcrunch.com/2013/02/13/strikingly/
Why would I want to fight a war on the moon? I agree with today's technology being disappointing when compared to all the sci-fi shows from the 70s and 80s but I'm not sure what the poll has to do with it.
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Chairman Ray Canada. June 26 2012 11:09. Posts 7641
Yes I'm disappointed in Intel thermally crippling Ivy Bridge processors so people will buy Haswell processors when they come out. I'm also dissapointed in AMD for saying their product is 'good enough', and instead of seeking better performance they will now seek lower cost.
Yeah I don't get the point of this thread...
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Infernal_dream United States. June 26 2012 11:12. Posts 1850
Why would we shoot up the giant cheeseball in the sky? Yes, technology today isn't advancing as fast as we thought it would, but honestly flying cars is dumb for many reasons. Doesn't mean that our advancements aren't still incredible.
Entrepreneurs and investors are mostly concerned with short-term economical profit. Long term and specially long term for humanity is something very few special people concern themselves with. Besides only people with money have the capacity to effect technological growth and your typical brilliant entrepreneur just out of college will worry himself with yet another cat picture sharing website because he won't find any investor to fund his flying car startup on this day and age.
Last edit: 2012-06-26 11:27:17
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1Eris1 United States. June 26 2012 11:33. Posts 5797
Would I like to watch real, alive human beings killing each other on the moon? . . . No, I wouldn't. What are you, 12?
edit: And if you guys are truly disapointed by our currently technology, I'd have to say you are all pretty spoiled in your thinking. Yes, instagram is kind of stupid, but it represents about .00001% of current innovation and technology.
Last edit: 2012-06-26 11:50:30
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amazingxkcd United States. June 26 2012 11:35. Posts 2805
I think what you are to get at is do we want to invest in new technology that allows us to do more in the future or do more right now? having wars on the moon is an investment in the future, but billion dollar instagrams is an investment for today, not the future. We have all of these new gadgets that help us now, but what about the future, like spaceships, and possibly terraformation? Stuff that Planetary Resources is doing is stuff for the future contrasting Samsung for now, and I'd rather support Planetary Resources.
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WTFZerg United States. June 26 2012 11:39. Posts 654
New technolofy is cool as hell. Have you seen those smartphones that use lasers to make a keyboard on any surface so you can type easily? That's badass! How about those TVs where a person on either side of the couch can see a completely different image?
On June 26 2012 10:59 Shady Sands wrote: Maybe then, this is why most of the tech improvements coming out of the very capitalist silicon valley model of today are apps and social media--because they don't require a lot of startup cash, and the timeline from idea creation to first investment to success/failure is much, much shorter than that of a more "traditional" technology. So the question then becomes-- are you willing to pay money to the government to push these big picture projects?
Also, there's a lot more out there than what we can get our hands on, and a lot of room for improvements in what already is out there. When private industry makes an investment in new tech, they want ROI. When the government makes an investment, they don't really have as much concern about ROI, because they aren't a business.
Technology disappoints me? Why would it? If you want better tech, then start on it. Get into research and engineering. Get the government and private institutions to fund science and engineering (e.g. the NASA post).
peekn United States. June 26 2012 13:27. Posts 1145
It's a real shame of how technology has slowed the past 50 years. 1969 we were on the Moon, what have we done since? Not that much in terms of a 'wow factor' like traveling to Mars or Triton. I just keep thinking that it is because the Government is putting technology development on the back burner and spending tons of money on things that are happening now.
Just thinking about how much war costs vs how much NASA gets is extremely depressing.