Posts Tagged ‘technological decline’

Technological decay

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

I have long argued, and commenters on this blog have long been disputed, that science died shortly after World War II, replaced by official state religion wearing lab coats as priestly robes, and using test tubes as aspersoria for holy water.

The age of science began with the Restoration and the Royal Society.  The Royal Society’s motto was “Take no one’s word for it”.   Feynman, in his address “What is Science?”, rephrased this as “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.” Now, however science consists of taking the word of secret anonymous committees meeting behind closed doors, committees that refuse to show their evidence, data, calculations, and method of calculation even while demanding trillion dollar programs, gigantic human sacrifice, and challenged by freedom of information requests.

I have long argued, and commenters on this blog have long been disputed, that since 1972, the west has been in technological stagnation or outright decline in most everyday fields, in an ever increasing number of fields. Yes, DNA reading and computer disk drives keep improving, but clothes washing machines have gone to $#!&, and there is a reason why people are nostalgic for the old muscle cars.

Observe our ability to build and operate tall buildings has been diminishing since 1972.

The highest level of technology is found in war. Soldiers are to take control of or destroy men and assets. Tanks, artillery, mortars and Armored Personnel carriers are to destroy soldiers. Ground attack planes and helicopters are to destroy tanks and armored personnel carriers, and air to air fighters are to destroy ground attack planes, and other air to air fighters.

So the highest level of technology, and the greatest expense, is found in the air to air fighter. A people’s capability to build and operate air to air fighters is the most sensitive barometer of its technological level, and a vital factor in that people’s capacity to win wars. You get air superiority, so the other side cannot use tanks against your soldiers, and you can use tanks against their soldiers, and artillery against their population centers and assets. You flatten their population centers and destroy their assets so that they cannot feed and equip their soldiers, and then your soldiers take charge.

And as you know, American air to air fighters have been getting slower and slower, more and more expensive, less and less maneuverable, flying less and less high, and carrying less and less ordinance. But now they are stealthed, right?  And Russian fighters are not stealthed.

Stealth can be beaten by sufficiently advanced electronics – you need two radars in substantially different locations whose radar is coordinated – one paints the target with a radar beam, and the other views the scatter from a substantially different angle. In response to the Turkish attack Russia now has part of the technology to beat stealth deployed in Syria: AEASA radars that can spray beams out in several thousand completely different directions per second. Does it have all of the technology deployed? Does it have the capability to coordinate two AEASA radars so as to see through stealth? Maybe. Probably. Though we will not really know until we see a major air battle between Russia and another advanced power.

Further Russian air to air fighters can fly faster, fly higher, are more maneuverable, and carry more ordinance than American air to air fighters. The recent display of Russian capability in Syria seems to be giving the Pentagon a nervous breakdown.  The Su-34 is every way superior, except for the very important defect that it lacks stealth.

When Dubai wants to build a tall building, it hires western experts. But those western experts are expatriates, semi permanent exiles from the west. They have foreign wives, girlfriends, and concubines. They don’t build tall buildings in the West because a horde of bureaucrats would shake them down for bribes (politely laundered through “consultants”, aka bagmen) and because they could not get any decent pussy in the west.

Our increasingly diverse ruling elite loses cohesion, in part through diversity, in part through selecting for cowards and liars. Because of this loss of cohesion, if you want to build a tall building in the west, you have to bribe a thousand priestly bureaucrats (whose self justifications are increasingly priestly – mostly they are protecting Gaia) and each of these thousand bureaucrats wants his pet consultant to collect ten percent of the surplus value that would be created by the building, adding up to a demand for one hundred times the value, while the King of Dubai is likely to content himself with a mere fifty percent of the value.

Technological decline

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

Konkvistador has drawn my attention to the Pu238 shortage. We stopped making Pu238 in 1988 You need Pu238 for nuclear batteries. The 2006 New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper belt was launched without enough Pu238 to keep all its equipment live during the Pluto flyby, and without enough Pu238 to do its Kuiper belt mission, from which I conclude that since 2011 we have been totally completely flat out of Pu238, just as the Fed is totally completely flat out of gold. For the last few decades, the government has been acting as if we are very very short of Pu238. For example, no allotment for pacemaker batteries, so people with pacemakers have to have major surgery every couple of years. The Europeans are using (dangerous and expensive) americium based nuclear batteries for their space program.

Supposedly we can simply make more Pu238, just as supposedly when the two towers fell, we could supposedly build buildings just as tall or taller, just as we can supposedly still build warplanes that can cruise at supersonic speeds, we just supposedly do not want to. Today’s businessmen are supposedly so secure in their masculinity that they do not want a higher corner office with a bigger view than the next businessman.

Maybe.

But I rather think if we could do that, we would not have run out in the first place. we would not have launched New Horizons with a half flat battery. We have been mighty short for at least a couple of decades, and since 2011 the cupboard has been just flat empty.

Technological decline

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

If we cannot build high buildings any more, progressives say we are now so sophisticated that we are now superior to status competition based on giant penis substitutes, and status competition based on having a higher corner office than the other business executives.

If high art is an aids infested trannie projectile vomiting over the audience, progressives say that we philistines just don’t get high art.

But the most important thing about a military aircraft is that it can fly faster, higher, and further than its opponents, so that you can get away from enemies, but enemies cannot get away from you.  And of these, the most important by far is to fly faster, so that you can bring trouble to your enemies, but your enemies cannot bring trouble to you.

SR 71 Blackbird, first built in 1972, about the time we put the last man on the moon.

Cruising Speed Mach 3.2
Ceiling 85 000 feet
Range 3 200 nautical miles

Today’s latest and greatest American warplane, the impressively named F-35 Lightning II. Does not that sound so much more impressive than “Blackbird”?

Cruising Speed Mach 1.6
Ceiling 60 000 feet
Range 1 200 nautical miles nautical miles

So let us make a little table:

Capability Then Now
Speed Mach 3.2 Mach 1.6
Ceiling 85 000 feet 60 000 feet
Range 3 200 nautical miles 1200 nautical miles

(more…)

mens rea

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

I have been arguing that social decay is ending technological and scientific progress.  In most areas it has strikingly slowed, in some areas, going backwards in the west, as we forget how to do what once we could do.  Others, however, argue that technological and scientific progress is still running hot, or that if it has slowed, it is that we ran out of low hanging fruit.

But a big tell is that people are lying about it. The lie indicates not only failure, but that the failure is shameful – that the failure is in us, not in external circumstances.  That we are lying about it shows the failure is social decay. (more…)

Progress

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

In 1900, there were no planes, no space travel. Motorcars were toys that enthusiasts played with, not useful means of transport.  There were no computers, no radios, no antibiotics, no rockets, no nuclear power, no knowledge or understanding of the interior the atom, no very useful plastics.

In 1961 we had all of this stuff

Since 1961, what have we got?

The last man on the moon is getting pretty elderly.  We have abandoned supersonic transport, and supersonic fighter planes are close to being abandoned.

Cell phones and the internet show radical improvement, but are just more intense and improved use of computers and radio, technologies that existed well before 1961.  Genetic technology shows promise, but is not yet doing anything big.  While reading genes continues to improve, writing them may well have peaked, and without vastly improved writing, gene technology is not going anywhere exciting.  AI remains thirty years in the future, as it has been for the past sixty years, even though every desktop now contains more computing power than the human brain.

And, as I regularly point out

The last man on the moon left in 1972

The tallest building in the united states was finished in 1974.

Cars are becoming humbler.

 

Technological decay

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Earlier I argued that technology in the west peaked in 1970, Tallest building 1972, coolest muscle cars, last man left the moon,though it continues to advance in some other parts of the world:

Unreasonable expectations points at another indicator. The most advanced plane ever built, the SR71, was built in 1966, retired 1972. One would have expected stealthed mach three fighters and bombers to replace it, but instead, slower, lower performance stealthed fighters and bombers replaced it. Unreasonable expectations argues that all advances since then have been driven solely by advances in photolithography, and that when photolithography runs out, technological advance will end.

A number of posts have appeared by a number of people reporting slowing in technology, or actual decline in the level of technology: See Locklin for a summary and review.

I would instead predict that technological advance in the west will end. I see new technologies, such as the blue light semiconductor laser, which makes possible modern DVDs, e-ink, which made possible the kindle, and new construction methods for very large buildings, which make possible the remarkably cool asian airports, continuing to appear in Asia.

Oslo cityscape

Shanghai cityscape

Shanghai cityscape

You can see where the future is being made. The Oslo cityscape looks as though it should be in sepia, for the nineteenth century look – similarly when you google up street scenes from Europe and the US and compare them with equivalent street scenes from China.

In the 1930s, they imagined the world of tomorrow would look shiny and futuristic. It does look that way, but not in the west.

What is causing it?

Contrary to Charles Murray, it looks to me that our elite is less and less elite, less and less selected for ability, creativity, and intelligence, that it is now primarily selected for conformity and political correctness, and secondarily selected for race and gender, and thus excludes the person who is smarter than those around him, who tends to have difficulty conforming, and is apt to show signs of noticing the more illogical aspects of the holy faith. You observe a lot more women in today’s ruling elite, and women are noticeably less intelligent and logical, less capable of comprehending or advancing technology, and the smartest women are considerably less smart than the smartest men. There are no great female composers, despite the fact that women have been very strongly encouraged to go into music for several hundred years. There are no great female scientists, Marie Curie being a completely faked up poster girl and an affirmative action Nobel prize. So when you see lots of females in the elite, you are simply going to see less technology. You are going to see the really smart man (and he always is a man) simply have lower status and less time and resources to accomplish stuff.

If you read up on the challenger disaster, it is pretty obvious that the people making the decisions were just stupid, and engineers under them were markedly smarter.   Mulloy simply did not understand Lund’s presentation.  And because the bosses were just too dimwitted, the space shuttle fell out of the sky.  Further, the reason Lund was low status and Mulloy was  high status is because Mulloy was stupid enough to fit in with the elite, while Lund was just too smart to fit in.

Reading old books, it looks to me that in the US, selection on the basis of ability maxed in 1870 if we suppose breeding counts, and if we instead suppose that the college board test (which later became the SAT) is vastly more predictive than breeding, so that breeding should be completely and totally disregarded, then it looks to me that selection on the basis of ability maxed in 1910, when they started to worry more about the fact that high scorers tended to be affluent white males, than whether the exam accurately measured ability to benefit from the kind of material taught at college.

Ever since then, since 1870 or 1910, depending on how reactionary you are, our elite has just been getting dumber and dumber, hence, technological decline.