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Thread: Just how advanced is modern technology?

  1. #31
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    There used to be a steel mill near where I live that started out by using charcoal from the local forests. They switched to imported coal because it worked better, but you CAN do it with charcoal.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  2. #32
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    Unanswerable ??? but interesting to think about our current technology vs an imagined future human technology... where are we on the curve? One metric could be " humans able to be killed / kg of weapons.", or "number of scientific journal articles published/year". Certainly in my own field (Medicine) there have been huge advances since I graduated- yet textbooks are no longer (both figuratively and literally). Not sure how to estimate how much more 'knowledge' there is to know.

    I think of it in terms of evolution of big brains-> invention/evolution of spoken languages - leverage multiple humans at one time-> invention of writing to better leverage multiple human brains over longer time frames with better fidelity-> invention of the internet (more of same connectivity) -> future AI -> ???

    I think there is a limit to the earth's population.. hence a limit to the number of well-fed, well educated , internet-connected human minds on this planet interested in doing science and living in societies that allow scientific thought. Every so often we might throw up another Einstein in a stochastic fashion...who knows if there will be a 'levelling off' period - a limit to what a single un-augmented human mind can think... (clearly there are 'thoughts' that are unthinkable given Godel's incompleteness theorem??).

    but I think only if/when General AI is developed we will get to an exponential growth of technology... but this won't be "human" technology.

    provided we don't kill ourselves with global warming (highly likely), asteroid collision (highly preventable) or nuclear weapons (possible).
    p_74.jpg

    https://www.nap.edu/read/13444/chapter/6#65
    Last edited by plant; 2019-Sep-16 at 06:18 AM.
    "It's only a model....?" :-)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3dZl3yfGpc

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by plant View Post
    Unanswerable ??? but interesting to think about our current technology vs an imagined future human technology... where are we on the curve? One metric could be " humans able to be killed / kg of weapons.", or "number of scientific journal articles published/year". Certainly in my own field (Medicine) there have been huge advances since I graduated- yet textbooks are no longer (both figuratively and literally). Not sure how to estimate how much more 'knowledge' there is to know.

    I think of it in terms of evolution of big brains-> invention/evolution of spoken languages - leverage multiple humans at one time-> invention of writing to better leverage multiple human brains over longer time frames with better fidelity-> invention of the internet (more of same connectivity) -> future AI -> ???

    I think there is a limit to the earth's population.. hence a limit to the number of well-fed, well educated , internet-connected human minds on this planet interested in doing science and living in societies that allow scientific thought. Every so often we might throw up another Einstein in a stochastic fashion...who knows if there will be a 'levelling off' period - a limit to what a single un-augmented human mind can think... (clearly there are 'thoughts' that are unthinkable given Godel's incompleteness theorem??).

    but I think only if/when General AI is developed we will get to an exponential growth of technology... but this won't be "human" technology.

    provided we don't kill ourselves with global warming (highly likely), asteroid collision (highly preventable) or nuclear weapons (possible).
    p_74.jpg

    https://www.nap.edu/read/13444/chapter/6#65
    You left out genetic manipulation which covers both humans and bacteria to do the jobs we have become used to doing with prime movers. There seems to be huge potential for change in the manipulation of DNA and of course like any technology it has its good and bad uses.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  4. #34
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    A lot of surgery is just carpentry.

  5. #35
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    True .. especially if the patient is made of wood.

    Surgeons were always proud of specifically NOT being 'doctors'. Hence when you graduate from medical school in Australia or the UK you become a Dr Jeckyl, Physician.. but if you do advanced training and become a surgeon you revert to Mr Hyde, Surgeon.

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

    from the college of surgeons website UK:

    Why are surgeons in the UK called Mr/Miss/Ms/Mrs, rather than Dr?

    In most other parts of the world all medical practitioners, physicians and surgeons alike, are referred to as Dr while in the UK surgeons are usually referred to as Mr/Miss/Ms/Mrs. This is because, from the Middle Ages physicians had to embark on formal university training to gain possession of a degree in medicine before they could enter practice. The possession of this degree, a doctorate, entitled them to the title of ‘Doctor of Medicine’ or Doctor.

    The training of surgeons until the mid-19th century was different. They did not have to go to university to gain a degree; instead they usually served as an apprentice to a surgeon. Afterwards they took an examination. In London, after 1745, this was conducted by the Surgeons' Company and after 1800 by The Royal College of Surgeons. If successful they were awarded a diploma, not a degree, therefore they were unable to call themselves 'Doctor', and stayed instead with the title 'Mr'.

    Outside London and in the largest cities, the surgeon served as an apprentice like many other tradesmen, but did not necessarily take any examination. Today all medical practitioners, whether physicians or surgeons have to undertake training at medical school to obtain a qualifying degree. Thereafter a further period of postgraduate study and training through junior posts is required before full consultant surgeon status is achieved. Thus the tradition of a surgeon being referred to as Mr/Miss/Ms/Mrs has continued, meaning that in effect a person starts as Mr/Miss/Ms/Mrs, becomes a Dr and then goes back to being a Mr/Miss/Ms/Mrs again!
    "It's only a model....?" :-)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3dZl3yfGpc

  6. #36
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    AGW might lead to nuclear War.
    SHARKS (crossed out) MONGEESE (sic) WITH FRICKIN' LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

  7. #37
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    Like most things in nature the 'exponential' appearing curve is probably just the 'exponential-like' part of the sigmoid curve... i do think this is where human technology is today.
    I guess that a general AI singularity could generate exponential technology.. but the heat-death of the universe... will just slow down it's CPU cycles.. and it'll have 1 (genius) thought every billion years... another sigmoid curve?
    "It's only a model....?" :-)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3dZl3yfGpc

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by plant View Post


    In most other parts of the world all medical practitioners, physicians and surgeons alike, are referred to as Dr while in the UK surgeons are usually referred to as Mr/Miss/Ms/Mrs.
    I just never understood "MPH"

    I mean...slow down a little

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjackson View Post
    If you had to score planet Earth as a whole on how advanced its technology is what would you rate it?
    7.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  10. #40
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    ...on a scale of 1 - 100?

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacedude View Post
    ...on a scale of 1 - 100?
    Who said anything about scales?

    It's arbitrary, deliberately so. I picked a random number because there's no objective context to our tech development except that we have tech development.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    7.
    Brilliant!

    OK, I admit I saw your explanation later.

  13. #43
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    No scale makes good sense. I tossed in 1 - 100 because a 7 on that scale alines with my earlier post of comparing us to just beginning to crawl. I suppose there could be no upper limit but if there is it'll probably be our own fault.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacedude View Post
    No scale makes good sense. I tossed in 1 - 100 because a 7 on that scale alines with my earlier post of comparing us to just beginning to crawl. I suppose there could be no upper limit but if there is it'll probably be our own fault.
    Yes. And the upper limit would be, if we die off, that point in time becomes the upper limit no matter where or when it is.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacedude View Post
    ...on a scale of 1 - 100?
    As Steve Wright said, "on a scale of 1 to 10, where 6 is the highest"

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