Re: poly: Re: Emerging Technology (was: Rapture of the Future)

From: Peter C. McCluskey <>
Date: Sun Jan 04 1998 - 22:36:35 PST (Tim May) writes:
>At 4:50 PM -0800 1/2/98, Anders Sandberg wrote:
>>A spin off-thread: what technologies do we see now that are like the
>>internet in the 80's?

>>The obvious one is biotechnology. In the late 80's and early 90's it
>Biotech is _too_ obvious...everybody's been waiting for many years for the
>exponential growth phase to start. Sure, there have been some nicely
>profitable drugs, but the drugs tend to be "one shot" affairs...Merck is
>the darling for a couple of years, then Gensea then something else. Each
>drug is almost a crap shoot...will it be a winner or a loser?

 After many years of assuming that biotech wasn't important to follow, I
recently started investing in companies such as Affymetrix and Incyte,
which seem to be using techniques similar to the semiconductor industry
to produce some exponential improvements in DNA analysis.

>(Another of my contrarian views is that the rate of knowledge growth is
>_not_ accelerating, but is slowing down. Not that the number of bits and
>bytes of so-called knowledge is not growing exponentially...they are. But
>the discovery rate of major new facts, major new paradigms, etc. is
>slowing. Which is not at all surprising to me. I can elaborate in other

 Why is the discovery rate of major new facts and major new paradigms
a good metric for knowledge growth? You seem to imply that, for example,
if we produce software that passes the Turing test through lots of trial
and error, it will be much less important than if we have an insight that
tells us how intelligence works. I suspect they would have almost the
same economic effects.

Peter McCluskey          | caffeine   O   CH3            |            ||  | |      H3C   C   N
                         |         \ / \ / \
                         |          N   C   C
                                    |   ||  ||
                                    C   C---N
                                  // \ /
                                  O   N
Received on Mon Jan 5 06:26:39 1998

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Mar 07 2006 - 14:45:29 PST