Discussion:
Too much for one lifetime? :-)
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gareth evans
2021-01-13 20:21:57 UTC
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This year is 50 years since I first cut my teeth on
assembler programming on a 16kb PDP11-20, but I can
today purchase microprocessors with an equal or better
capability for only a few £££ or $$$.

Are there any other technologies that have had comparable
periods of accelerated development?

Any of the other professionals who qualified at the same time
as we engineers have only had to deal with the same characteristics
as they dealt with 50 years ago with very minor changes, be they
doctors or lawyers.

Pity the poor electronic engineer!
A.T. Murray
2021-01-13 20:39:40 UTC
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Post by gareth evans
[...]
Are there any other technologies that have had comparable
periods of accelerated development?
Pity the poor electronic engineer!
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one technology recently blossoming with AI Minds thinking first in English, then in German, then Russian, and most recently in ancient Latin.

https://ai.neocities.org/LaThink.html -- how an AI Mind thinks in ancient Latin.
Ahem A Rivet's Shot
2021-01-13 20:59:26 UTC
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On Wed, 13 Jan 2021 20:21:57 +0000
Post by gareth evans
This year is 50 years since I first cut my teeth on
assembler programming on a 16kb PDP11-20, but I can
today purchase microprocessors with an equal or better
capability for only a few £££ or $$$.
Are there any other technologies that have had comparable
periods of accelerated development?
Flight! The Wright brothers got Kittyhawk off the ground in 1903,
by 1953 we were seeing the first jet airliners (the 707 was only a year
later) and we were only four years short of the first satellite launch.
--
Steve O'Hara-Smith | Directable Mirror Arrays
C:\>WIN | A better way to focus the sun
The computer obeys and wins. | licences available see
You lose and Bill collects. | http://www.sohara.org/
bert
2021-01-13 21:16:23 UTC
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Post by Ahem A Rivet's Shot
On Wed, 13 Jan 2021 20:21:57 +0000
Post by gareth evans
This year is 50 years since I first cut my teeth on
assembler programming on a 16kb PDP11-20, but I can
today purchase microprocessors with an equal or better
capability for only a few £££ or $$$.
Are there any other technologies that have had comparable
periods of accelerated development?
Flight! The Wright brothers got Kittyhawk off the ground in 1903,
by 1953 we were seeing the first jet airliners (the 707 was only a year
later) and we were only four years short of the first satellite launch.
Maybe the 50 years (plus 1 month) from Alcock and Brown to
Armstrong and Aldrin cover a bigger technological advance.
gareth evans
2021-01-13 22:18:43 UTC
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Post by bert
Post by Ahem A Rivet's Shot
On Wed, 13 Jan 2021 20:21:57 +0000
Post by gareth evans
This year is 50 years since I first cut my teeth on
assembler programming on a 16kb PDP11-20, but I can
today purchase microprocessors with an equal or better
capability for only a few £££ or $$$.
Are there any other technologies that have had comparable
periods of accelerated development?
Flight! The Wright brothers got Kittyhawk off the ground in 1903,
by 1953 we were seeing the first jet airliners (the 707 was only a year
later) and we were only four years short of the first satellite launch.
Maybe the 50 years (plus 1 month) from Alcock and Brown to
Armstrong and Aldrin cover a bigger technological advance.
Sorry, but having posed the question has brought to mind that for
millennia, humanity existed with wood, stone and very little metal,
and any possessions would be valued and keppt for generations, but the
technologies of the past nearly 200 years have produced great waste
in that a further development results in abandonment and scrapping
of previous approaches.

What of humanity in the next 200, 2000, or 200,000 years when petroleum
and coal are long exhausted. Are we too much concerned with our
comforts of today?
Ahem A Rivet's Shot
2021-01-14 11:45:17 UTC
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On Wed, 13 Jan 2021 22:18:43 +0000
Post by gareth evans
Sorry, but having posed the question has brought to mind that for
millennia, humanity existed with wood, stone and very little metal,
and any possessions would be valued and kept for generations, but the
Also in very small numbers. The world population hit a billion for
the first time 200 years ago.
--
Steve O'Hara-Smith | Directable Mirror Arrays
C:\>WIN | A better way to focus the sun
The computer obeys and wins. | licences available see
You lose and Bill collects. | http://www.sohara.org/
Dave Garland
2021-01-14 16:06:13 UTC
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Post by gareth evans
What of humanity in the next 200, 2000, or 200,000 years when petroleum
and coal are long exhausted. Are we too much concerned with our
comforts of today?
Of course. Though whatever one's view on human resource use may be,
projecting the question another 200,000 years is wildly optimistic.
Unless one subscribes to the rule of thumb that to predict how long
something ongoing will continue, you take however long it has lasted
already and double that.
Scott Lurndal
2021-01-14 17:16:00 UTC
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Post by Dave Garland
Post by gareth evans
What of humanity in the next 200, 2000, or 200,000 years when petroleum
and coal are long exhausted. Are we too much concerned with our
comforts of today?
Of course. Though whatever one's view on human resource use may be,
projecting the question another 200,000 years is wildly optimistic.
Unless one subscribes to the rule of thumb that to predict how long
something ongoing will continue, you take however long it has lasted
already and double that.
Musings from a physicist who normally bounces lasers off the moon:

https://dothemath.ucsd.edu/2011/07/galactic-scale-energy/
https://dothemath.ucsd.edu/2011/10/the-energy-trap/
https://dothemath.ucsd.edu/2011/11/peak-oil-perspective/
https://dothemath.ucsd.edu/2011/09/discovering-limits-to-growth/

https://dothemath.ucsd.edu/2011/12/the-future-needs-an-attitude-adjustment/
Radey Shouman
2021-01-14 20:04:21 UTC
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Post by Scott Lurndal
Post by Dave Garland
Post by gareth evans
What of humanity in the next 200, 2000, or 200,000 years when petroleum
and coal are long exhausted. Are we too much concerned with our
comforts of today?
Of course. Though whatever one's view on human resource use may be,
projecting the question another 200,000 years is wildly optimistic.
Unless one subscribes to the rule of thumb that to predict how long
something ongoing will continue, you take however long it has lasted
already and double that.
https://dothemath.ucsd.edu/2011/07/galactic-scale-energy/
https://dothemath.ucsd.edu/2011/10/the-energy-trap/
https://dothemath.ucsd.edu/2011/11/peak-oil-perspective/
https://dothemath.ucsd.edu/2011/09/discovering-limits-to-growth/
https://dothemath.ucsd.edu/2011/12/the-future-needs-an-attitude-adjustment/
In more or less the same spirit, an online book on what is possible with
sustainable energy:

https://www.withouthotair.com
Ahem A Rivet's Shot
2021-01-14 10:16:54 UTC
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On Wed, 13 Jan 2021 13:16:23 -0800 (PST)
Post by bert
Post by Ahem A Rivet's Shot
Flight! The Wright brothers got Kittyhawk off the ground in 1903,
by 1953 we were seeing the first jet airliners (the 707 was only a year
later) and we were only four years short of the first satellite launch.
Maybe the 50 years (plus 1 month) from Alcock and Brown to
Armstrong and Aldrin cover a bigger technological advance.
Maybe, it was pretty fast from 1903 to some time in the 1970s and
then slowed down quite a bit, short of the hypersonic planes that some were
predicting a little earlier.
--
Steve O'Hara-Smith | Directable Mirror Arrays
C:\>WIN | A better way to focus the sun
The computer obeys and wins. | licences available see
You lose and Bill collects. | http://www.sohara.org/
Vir Campestris
2021-01-14 14:56:23 UTC
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Post by bert
Maybe the 50 years (plus 1 month) from Alcock and Brown to
Armstrong and Aldrin cover a bigger technological advance.
My grandfather was born before the Wright brother's flight, and was in
the RFC in WW1. By the time he died we had men on the moon, and he'd
been on Concorde.

What went wrong? I never dreamed when I was a child that I would see the
end of supersonic transport, and the death of the last man who ever
walked on the moon. It can't be far away now, they're all at least 85.

I'm glad I made my career in computers...

Andy
Ahem A Rivet's Shot
2021-01-14 15:42:22 UTC
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On Thu, 14 Jan 2021 14:56:23 +0000
Post by Vir Campestris
What went wrong?
I never dreamed when I was a child that I would see thel end of
supersonic transport,
Economics happened to that - for now at least. Musk seems to think
he can make hypersonic sub-orbital transport pay.
Post by Vir Campestris
and the death of the last man who ever
walked on the moon. It can't be far away now, they're all at least 85.
Yeah, that is at least in part because nobody new why they went
there in the first place, Von Braun's plans for going into space and to the
planets sensibly were dropped in favour of "Whatever it takes get someone
to the moon and back before the commies do".
--
Steve O'Hara-Smith | Directable Mirror Arrays
C:\>WIN | A better way to focus the sun
The computer obeys and wins. | licences available see
You lose and Bill collects. | http://www.sohara.org/
Scott Lurndal
2021-01-14 17:12:27 UTC
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Post by Ahem A Rivet's Shot
On Thu, 14 Jan 2021 14:56:23 +0000
Post by Vir Campestris
What went wrong?
I never dreamed when I was a child that I would see thel end of
supersonic transport,
Economics happened to that - for now at least. Musk seems to think
he can make hypersonic sub-orbital transport pay.
And there are three companies currently developing low-boom supersonic
transport aircraft, two for bizjets and one for regular passenger
service.

Boom Supersonic "Overture". First flight scheduled for 2023. 55 pax, mach 2.2
Aerion Supersonic "AS2". First flight 2023, mach 1.4, 12 pax.
Spike Aerospace "S-512". First flight 2023, mach 1.6, 12-18 pax.
Ahem A Rivet's Shot
2021-01-14 18:43:19 UTC
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On Thu, 14 Jan 2021 17:12:27 GMT
Post by Scott Lurndal
Post by Ahem A Rivet's Shot
On Thu, 14 Jan 2021 14:56:23 +0000
Post by Vir Campestris
What went wrong?
I never dreamed when I was a child that I would see thel end of
supersonic transport,
Economics happened to that - for now at least. Musk seems to
think
he can make hypersonic sub-orbital transport pay.
And there are three companies currently developing low-boom supersonic
transport aircraft, two for bizjets and one for regular passenger
service.
I knew of one, not the other two. I wonder how they'll pan out
commercially.
--
Steve O'Hara-Smith | Directable Mirror Arrays
C:\>WIN | A better way to focus the sun
The computer obeys and wins. | licences available see
You lose and Bill collects. | http://www.sohara.org/
Scott Lurndal
2021-01-14 19:50:35 UTC
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Post by Ahem A Rivet's Shot
On Thu, 14 Jan 2021 17:12:27 GMT
Post by Scott Lurndal
Post by Ahem A Rivet's Shot
On Thu, 14 Jan 2021 14:56:23 +0000
Post by Vir Campestris
What went wrong?
I never dreamed when I was a child that I would see thel end of
supersonic transport,
Economics happened to that - for now at least. Musk seems to think
he can make hypersonic sub-orbital transport pay.
And there are three companies currently developing low-boom supersonic
transport aircraft, two for bizjets and one for regular passenger
service.
I knew of one, not the other two. I wonder how they'll pan out
commercially.
NASA is currently doing work to characterize low-boom effects on communities.
Vir Campestris
2021-01-14 21:38:08 UTC
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Post by Scott Lurndal
And there are three companies currently developing low-boom supersonic
transport aircraft, two for bizjets and one for regular passenger
service.
We had a boom the other day. A bizjet inbound from Germany to London had
its transponder off and didn't respond to signals. They scrambled the
RAF with all dispatch... quite a little thing a Eurofighter is, and it
rattled our windows 20 miles off the flightpath.

Andy

Andreas Kohlbach
2021-01-14 21:00:44 UTC
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Post by Ahem A Rivet's Shot
On Thu, 14 Jan 2021 14:56:23 +0000
Post by Vir Campestris
and the death of the last man who ever
walked on the moon. It can't be far away now, they're all at least 85.
Yeah, that is at least in part because nobody new why they went
there in the first place,
Because Kennedy said so?
Post by Ahem A Rivet's Shot
Von Braun's plans for going into space and to the planets sensibly were
dropped in favour of "Whatever it takes get someone to the moon and
back before the commies do".
The arms race was the real deal, covered by the space race. Kind of "If
we can send a man on the moon in a rocket, we can do the same with a
nuclear tipped warhead directed into any other country.

The commies just followed the US' lead. But imagine what would had
happened if the Russians, little before July 1969, sent a manned probe to
Mars, which they had developed in all secrecy.

May be Kennedy already thought to outperform the Russians financially to
drive them bankrupt faster, like Reagan successfully did more than a
decade later, ending the USSR in 1991...
--
Andreas

PGP fingerprint 952B0A9F12C2FD6C9F7E68DAA9C2EA89D1A370E0
J. Clarke
2021-01-14 19:07:54 UTC
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On Thu, 14 Jan 2021 14:56:23 +0000, Vir Campestris
Post by Vir Campestris
Post by bert
Maybe the 50 years (plus 1 month) from Alcock and Brown to
Armstrong and Aldrin cover a bigger technological advance.
My grandfather was born before the Wright brother's flight, and was in
the RFC in WW1. By the time he died we had men on the moon, and he'd
been on Concorde.
What went wrong? I never dreamed when I was a child that I would see the
end of supersonic transport, and the death of the last man who ever
walked on the moon. It can't be far away now, they're all at least 85.
I'm glad I made my career in computers...
Amen.
Post by Vir Campestris
Andy
Ahem A Rivet's Shot
2021-01-14 21:20:59 UTC
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On Thu, 14 Jan 2021 14:07:54 -0500
Post by J. Clarke
On Thu, 14 Jan 2021 14:56:23 +0000, Vir Campestris
Post by Vir Campestris
I'm glad I made my career in computers...
Amen.
I'm glad computers have held out as an expanding business for this
much of my career, and that I switched from hardware to software very early.
--
Steve O'Hara-Smith | Directable Mirror Arrays
C:\>WIN | A better way to focus the sun
The computer obeys and wins. | licences available see
You lose and Bill collects. | http://www.sohara.org/
gareth evans
2021-01-13 22:12:53 UTC
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Post by Ahem A Rivet's Shot
On Wed, 13 Jan 2021 20:21:57 +0000
Post by gareth evans
This year is 50 years since I first cut my teeth on
assembler programming on a 16kb PDP11-20, but I can
today purchase microprocessors with an equal or better
capability for only a few £££ or $$$.
Are there any other technologies that have had comparable
periods of accelerated development?
Flight! The Wright brothers got Kittyhawk off the ground in 1903,
by 1953 we were seeing the first jet airliners (the 707 was only a year
later) and we were only four years short of the first satellite launch.
... and of course my original interest in the previous 50 years
from 1920, radio coming from crystal sets to portable transistor
receivers. (But electronics again!)
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