Stephen Richards


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I’m not sure you are talking about technology advancement but rather the gifts of different hydrocarbon ages. Your IR1 to me is better described as everything we could do with coal. IR2 is everything we could do with oil. IR3 seems different to me, if humanity invented true AI -will we be literally gods?

Also there is the issue of order of magnitude improvements only being noticeable when they pass the human scale and seeming irrelevant either side. Commuting to work in a flying car might be fun, but flying my desk home at the speed of light is far faster and vastly more practical, not to mention shrinking my work desk to a fraction of an SSD.

Finally it seems like a get of my lawn/kids these days post. Romans had chariots and roads and indoor heating, cars and interstates are impressive in scale and speed, but so is flying my office desk.

What will be the next big driver of technology innovation? (Especially as 8-10 billion people may have to go through more expensive hydrocarbons over the next 50 years slowing down the technological feedstock) My guess is abundant green electrical power, and slightly improved batteries combined with ai and crop improvements to feed us, these will be held back by resources per person declining (oil per capita peaked in the 70s I think, good wood is expensive), and climate change issues.

Brad Delongs book that’s about to come out seems to be aimed at this question (at least from information about it before reading it)

Quite by accident I was at the Jenner house museum (Berkeley, England - worth a visit if you’re in the area) that day and they had a note celebrating the anniversary, but I think they celebrate all year around.