Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: San Antonio, Texas
One thing we can be certain about is that prediction is inversely porportionate to time. The further out your prediction the less reliable it is. The most interesting thing about technological innovation is that it creates a dynamism where one innovation can introduce other, completely unanticipated, innovations. Time introduces an exponential factor into social change which can be reliably counted on to defeat the kinds of predictions Bruce just mentioned. Governments often convince themselves that they can control technological innovation through planning and regulation but those efforts often produce spectacular failures (Chair Mao's "Great Leap Forward" comes to mind) at worst and then morph into the stultifying drabness of state socialism at best.
Wind turbines and solar collectors are devastating bird populations, the 55mph speed limit experiment spawned the Escort radar detector which allowed us to drive as fast as we wanted with virtual impunity, automobile emission controls, at first sharply limited horsepower outputs but with sophisticated engine management electronics we now have 500hp Cadillacs. The list goes on and on and, I think, underscores that inescapable fact that human inventiveness is a natural enemy of the state. I am, of course, predicating my comments on the libertarian/conservative position that humans by nature are ill-served by government control. That said, I note that the Mercedes perspective appears to be widely accepted in Europe and elsewhere. It tends to reflect a fact---disturbing to me---that the kind of government control necessary to produce the kind of programmatic changes discussed sort of implies that there doesn't appear to be much room in that kind of society for the concepts of freedom and liberty we now take for granted. Somehow, I have a feeling that we will not go gentle into that good night.
Jim . . . '72 Super 1300, '70, 1750GTV, 2nd series,
'62, Lancia Flaminia Zagato3c, 2nd series
Last edited by 180OUT; 07-26-2017 at 08:52 AM.