• schopenhauer1
    3.1k
    The vehicle for the growth of technology can be boiled down to two parts: a.innovation/inspiration/creativity by an originator, and
    b. Further developments by those who use the originator’s framework.

    Now there is of course a chick-egg problem where it is difficult to determine whether something is a or b and there is certainly blending of the two, but as a model, this works fine.

    Inspiration is an intangible phonomenon- it takes factors such as circumstance, prior knowledge, and creative genius to produce something that works and is (almost) wholly new from what came before in terms of concept and what the concept can be applied to.

    Examples of further developments are things like programmers using a language and compilers created from the source language and developing electronic applications. A classic example is an architectural or engineering method used widely for its stability but varied in specifics of thevactual structure.

    All of this growth of technology...
    At first glance, you may think that the most rational “reason” to procreate is happiness (of the child being born, not the ancillary happiness of parenthood). But happiness is tied to community..community is tied to its structural survival methods. The structural survival methods are comprised mainly of the technology of a society. Thus, the child is born to produce and promote the growth of technology. That is the “hidden” reason behind procreation. I’m speaking purely about intentin reasons based on “happiness” of the child. Happiness is really a front for the child’s ability to consume and produce technology by way of outright consumption (passive) or by way of originating or furthering technology. The child is de facto a means to this end.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.1k

    I don’t see an argument. What is your main point? Happiness for the child is tied to technology and it is a subtle but logical connection.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.1k

    Ok, I see what you mean now. I reduce only to the level of survival as that is as far as “reasons” go when related to the specific situation of the animal. Once natural selection took place, it’s kind of a given. Technology may be more basic than other cultural traits, and can even be argued as our species survival niche so this especially pertains to the human animal at the foundational level. Why would it then be appropriate to go further to physics?
  • Bitter Crank
    8.1k
    Are humans part of the biological continuum (nature)? If we are, then it would seem to be the case that we reproduce for the same reason that all other creatures reproduce: we are programmed to engage in behaviors that result in off-spring.

    If you lab-raised a group of people from infancy and you carefully avoided teaching this group anything about sex and reproduction of any species--especially their own--would they desire to reproduce? And if, predictably, a male and female in this group had sex and the female became pregnant, would the resulting delivery of the baby be considered a miracle of birth or a nightmare? Left uninformed and unprepared for the delivery, I would think it would be closer to a nightmare than miracle.

    What about oxytocin? It seems like oxytocin is more evidence that "nature" intervenes to make sure the baby isn't tossed aside for all the pain and inconvenience it just caused.

    Perhaps we don't reproduce for any "reason" at all. Maybe we are naturally more a-natalists, rather than pro-natalists? (Granted, there is plenty of intense propaganda in favor of natalism.)

    the child is born to produce and promote the growth of technology.schopenhauer1

    This is the least persuasive of reasons for reproduction that you have come up with. In our long history of mindless reproducing, very very few children have produced any growth in technology. For most of our history (as the species we have been for several hundred thousand years--and before that, millions of years) children duplicated the existing technology--knapping pieces of rock into tools, cooking birch bark to get a strong pitch adhesive, food preparation, etc. We know they duplicated technology (rather than innovating) because the styles of knapping rock change very slowly.

    Reproduction is the essence of life: the first life forms (simple one celled animals) reproduced. Life has been doing that for billions of years--not because it is in favor of reproduction. Life has no choice in the matter. It is designed from the molecular level and up (maybe the atomic level and up? Sub atomically and up?) to reproduce.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.1k

    Because the origination of “survival” in the statistical..fit enough to not die sense, is allocated at the level of evolutionary biology, not the level of physics. I can explain the phenomenon without going any further down the causal/physical chain.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.1k
    This is the least persuasive of reasons for reproduction that you have come up with. In our long history of mindless reproducing, very very few children have produced any growth in technology. For most of our history (as the species we have been for several hundred thousand years--and before that, millions of years) children duplicated the existing technology--knapping pieces of rock into tools, cooking birch bark to get a strong pitch adhesive, food preparation, etc. We know they duplicated technology (rather than innovating) because the styles of knapping rock change very slowly.

    Reproduction is the essence of life: the first life forms (simple one celled animals) reproduced. Life has been doing that for billions of years--not because it is in favor of reproduction. Life has no choice in the matter. It is designed from the molecular level and up (maybe the atomic level and up? Sub atomically and up?) to reproduce.
    Bitter Crank

    While I grant that reproduction is partly hardwired (in our case by means of pleasure-centers (i.e. orgasms in sex and oxytocin released during childbirth perhaps..), I did qualify my statement that, I am only discussing those claiming to have kids intentionally, in order so that a new human can experience happiness, but are really doing it to advance technology. Happiness is only gained by means of enculturation by way of society. Human society is only maintained via technology. The child is born to maintain and advance technology. The hope is to advance it, but if they become a common maintainer rather than advancer, then oh well, the hope was there.

    Anyways, this also proves that the intention to bring new humans about for reasons of promoting "happiness" is actually subtly (but importantly) promoting technological advancement and maintenance. I will say, the addition of maintenance is from considering your response that most humans don't advance, but replicate. I still think that the hope is the offspring will either originate or further advance from the originators.

    So children are put on the treadmill.. or rather the GRISTMILL of trying to innovate technology. But its hardwork and sweat.. so the children are born to work hard to create technologies, but most will not, they will just work hard.

    As a side note, I always like your posts- they are well-crafted and fun to read, even if I disagree with parts. You should teach a course on, "How to disagree without being disagreeable".
  • schopenhauer1
    3.1k
    The same logic can apply all the way down to the reduction ladder. Natural selection is not the real reason things happen, the selfish gene is. Oh, no, it's not the gene, it's the molecule. No, it's the atom. Maybe it's the second law... all the way into the abyss!Πετροκότσυφας

    Ha, I see what you're saying, but I don't think that it is necessarily an argument against survival as the stopping point. At the level of organism, which we are, survival is essentially all we need to reduce to. But, I am not SIMPLY reducing to survival. It is survival via technology via happiness. So, I acknowledge there are levels at play here, it is just that where they may seem disparate, I see cohering connections.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.1k
    No, there's no "need" to reduce something to something else.Πετροκότσυφας

    I am not really reducing actually. It is actually more revealing happiness= technological advancement for reasons of having children. Its more definitional than explanational I guess. It was you who brought in the idea of reduction. Survival is in the equation, but via technological advancement. There is no way to have happiness without the technology that provides the sustaining community. It is all tied together, I am not sure if reduction has to play into it. I am not saying "we are born to produce technology", but rather the reason of "happiness" is necessarily tied into technology. There is a difference.

    Certainly I see technology as foundational- thus the necessary tie with it rather than with other human cultural phenomena.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.1k
    And the fact, if it is a fact, that you can't have happiness without technology, does not mean that happiness is the same as technology.Πετροκότσυφας

    Granted, perhaps I should phrase it differently such that "The intention of happiness is only had by way of technology, and thus happiness brings with it the treadmill of technology-originators/advancers/maintainers."

    And yes, you're not saying we are born to produce technology, you're saying we use technology to reproduce to use technology to reproduce, to infinity.Πετροκότσυφας

    Not exactly. Rather, what I said above. To reproduce based on happiness is to bring about the workers needed to advance technology for the community. I suppose the connection is more unintended than the way I first stated it.

    Every new line of code is just substantiating it :D.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.1k

    There’s no other choice..I guess you can call that inherently satisfying.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.1k

    The problem is having no choice.
    Back to your point about the reduction..more technology producers why?
  • schopenhauer1
    3.1k

    I guess there’s no evaluative aspect to this. It is to reveal the connection of happiness to technology by necessity.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.1k
    I'll respond later; right now I must go and exploit technology that already exists and purchase food and beer. It's warm and humid outside. Were I a young hot het instead of an old cold homo, I'd go breed with a female to produce spring lambs for the purpose of producing more and better technology. There are many devices that do not work very well, wear out too soon, break too easily, are not smart enough (many of them are incorrigibly stupid), and use too many resources to remain plentiful and cheap.

    So breed, you bastards, breed. Better technology tomorrow!
  • schopenhauer1
    3.1k

    I explained it in the OP. Happiness > Community > Technology
  • Akanthinos
    1k
    How is any of this nonsense "phenomenology"?
  • schopenhauer1
    3.1k

    Well started off describing the two ways of innovating tech

    an approach that concentrates on the study of consciousness and the objects of direct experience. Basically what things are like from first person.
  • Akanthinos
    1k


    Ok so you have the first paragraph of your "Prolegomena to a Phenomenology of Technology". Thats good, but thats barely laying down ink on paper. After that you'll need to work out the methodology and restrictions you want to impose on your research through an description of both your epoche and your phenomenological reduction(s). This would at least involve redrafting multiple times the same text in order to evacuate any metaphysical or natural bias you, as the author, inevitably inject in the treatment.

    If you just want to share your introspections with the group, that is great, but until you dedicate yourself to the work I've begun to describe above, you are precisely not doing phenomenology.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.1k

    I will happily change the title if you think it appropriate. If you want to point the way to proper epoche methodology, I would be happy to see an example.
  • Akanthinos
    1k
    How about you take it as an opportunity to apply the method to the subject matter? Otherwise 'Opinions on technology' would be more accurate, but also a lot more boring.

    An epoche is the work or neutralizing metaphysical and personal biases in the philosophical description of a phenomenon. It can be as simple as neutralizing your disgust toward something, forcing yourself to adopt a more neutral point of view, or as complicated as preventing any form of preconceived belief from being stated in the text, and likely should involve a bit of both.

    The importance of the epoche is in the proof-of-work it provides, its important to explain the process of epoche almost as much as you treat the subject matter itself, because it is the only way a third party may judge weither or not the author does manage to reach the state of the transcendental attitude.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.1k

    Well if I had the time I would try to get the exact recount of the thoughts of the person who invented the C language exactly as he invented it. Then I would have the exact recount of a programmer building an app in the language of C. I would hopefully have accounted for any biased in each so the reader had pure experiential understanding of the originator and advancer concepts.
  • Akanthinos
    1k
    You could do with a late transcript of those thoughts, if it was taken according to a very tight methodological inquiry. Alone it would have little value, but you could repeat this with many technology developpers and get enough transcripts to try and find a baseline. But that would yield a phenomenology of the creation of technology. Your relation, and ours, as technological entities, to the subject is already sufficiently exposed to allow for further disclosure.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.1k
    those claiming to have kids intentionally, in order so that a new human can experience happiness, but are really doing it to advance technology.schopenhauer1

    There are two assumptions here, one possibly supportable. It may be that people have children so that a new human can experience happiness. That only sounds good. I don't know whether it is true or not. I think it is more true that people HOPE the child will experience happiness. That parents HOPE the child will be happy suggests that they are aware happiness isn't guaranteed. If happiness isn't guaranteed, then there must be some other reason for having a child.

    The claim that they are having the child to advance technology strikes me as altogether unsupportable. I just don't see any evidence of that. Where are you finding factual support for this view? Post hoc ergo propter hoc, anyone? (After this therefore because of this.)

    Schop, how forward thinking are most reproductive decisions? Having a child for any specific reason is a major gamble for most people. Produce workers to keep the tribe going? Produce cheap help on the farm? Produce people who will be smart and will keep the cultural fires burning? A farmer who is planning on sons but gets only daughters won't have the kind of workforce he was planning on. Parents planning on keeping the tribe a going concern assume the children won't leave to join a different group. Or all die of bubonic plague.

    I still think people have children because we, like other animals, are set up to reproduce whether we especially want to or not. Having children is the default mode. NOT having children takes special planning and effort. Once the kid is on its way, we start coming up with justifications and plans -- which might be more of a salvage operation than a celebration of EVEN MORE CHILDREN. I was not a wanted child. My parents had already had 7 (2 died early on) and were tired. WWII had just ended, everything was in short supply. None the less, Sex + fertility = baby. One woman in my home town had 18 children (!). Did she want 18 children? I don't know about the husband, but she DID NOT. According to her older children, it was a living nightmare. (Some of the 18 are apparently happy within reasonable bounds, some are decidedly not happy.)
  • schopenhauer1
    3.1k

    Well I’m connecting it with technology for a reason. There is the need for someone to master the technology and perpetuate it. Who shall it be? You do make a good point children historically are the result of the desire for sex with no birth control methods. The lofty goals were perhaps after the fact.

    The reality is survival requires the technology. It is primary to all else whether flaking stones and hut building techniques or machine coding.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.1k
    You are quite right that survival requires technology. That has been true for at least... maybe 200,000 years? Ever since we started to employ stone tools. Marx observed that "reproducing society" was an essential task of (who? Working Class? Middle Class? Ruling Class?). Reproducing society is more than repopulating it. Culture, technology, agriculture, language, art, etc. ALL of it had to be reproduced, or we would crash as a species.

    Whoever it is the responsibility of, society gets reproduced. Social reproduction (cultural, technological, population, etc.) is not an individual task--it's a collective, cultural task. Two crows can repopulate Crow City, but two humans by themselves can not perpetuate human society. Without an intact culture, humans would devolve very rapidly (or maybe they'd just drop dead). I can imagine millions of Americans dying from shock if television were to just disappear--probably within 24 to 48 hours of its disappearance. One very big EMP over North America and the lights would go out, zillions of printed circuits would be fried, and everything would come to a screeching halt. Sic transit gloria technocracy.

    So, there is much more than the individual delusions of prospective parents at work.

    IF society crashed, and 99.9% of the population were dead, I think the remaining remnant would be hard pressed to imagine that they were producing children so that they would be happy.

    But then, were you ever positing that parents "individually apart from society" imagined that their children would find happiness and nice technology?
  • schopenhauer1
    3.1k
    But then, were you ever positing that parents "individually apart from society" imagined that their children would find happiness and nice technology?Bitter Crank

    Well, let me put this in a broader context- think about the burden of technology. As you mentioned a large EMP over North America, I can hear in the background the proverbial technophiles in ThePhilosophyForum land saying statements like, "Actually, the North American grid is connected to such and such frameworks, this or that power stations, such that an EMP could not possibly fry the whole power grid, and perhaps only a quarter of the country would fail from such an event, and then go into the mechanics of how the possibility of a nationwide power failure would occur, and the slim chances of such occurrence. You see, someone has to know this. Someone has to work towards knowing this. Happiness is wrapped up in our ability to grasp, innovate, and further technology. The burden of the details has to be gained and furthered. You can spend years just knowing the details of some engineering concept.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.1k
    You might enjoy a series of "sort of sci-fi but more about energy and technology" books by James Howard Kunstler. It's his "World Made by Hand" series. The story begins with an off stage event involving just a very few atomic explosions, a few EMPs, and fried electronics. As is well known, integrated/printed/miniaturized electronics are very susceptible to EMPs, and very few people are still using vacuum tube devices which aren't susceptible.

    The country is cast back into the late 19th century as far as technology is concerned. From now on, they will have to make what they need by hand -- hence the title. The story is NOT about lovely hand-made furniture.

    WMBH is set in a very small upstate New York village. Recovery is difficult, and there aren't really any miracles to help them out. If I remember correctly, the story covers 2 or 3 years, maybe a little longer. The reduced population of the village survive, and life goes on -- but in a very reduced way. Very large numbers of people in the country died off because adaptation was impossible for most people. (take Chicago, New York, LA, Houston -- feeding that many people can't be done without modern transportation. True, New York was large and was fed in the late 19th Century; so was Chicago and many other cities. But the existing organization and animal-based traction technology long since disappeared. Yes, 19th century tech can be recovered, but not in one or two years. It would take decades to reconstruct.

    There are several volumes in the series; they are realistic, pessimistic, but in someways hopeful. That's what Kunstler's lecturing and non-fiction books are about -- if we are going to survive as a species, we are going to have to radically change the kind of life we maintain and exist in. It will probably need to resemble the 19th century in many ways (animal traction, minimal electronic devices, a far less centralized economy, smaller population, etc.). We would have to live much like the Amish live.

    A World Made By Hand isn't going to change your ideas about the world, but they are very interesting stories.

    EARTH ABIDES is another one -- this much older, written in 1949. It posits a plague that quickly kills most of the world's population -- like... 99.99%. There's no horror in the novel. The story focuses on a small group's efforts to survive in Oakland, CA. They do survive, though along much different lines than their tech-oriented leader had thought they would.

    Earth Abides is interesting because the world that ended in 1949 was so much less "technical" than the present one. For instance, the star of the novel decides to drive across country and decides that Highway 66 would be the best bet. When I read that I thought... "why would he not travel on the interstate freeways?"... Oh right, they hadn't been built yet. Television? Invented, but barely in use; radio, yes; telephone, yes; electric lights, yes; refrigeration and natural gas, yes. All that was now gone. So there were many adaptations necessary. A surprising and interesting conclusion to the book.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.1k
    @Πετροκότσυφας
    Thanks for the book recommendations! I might have to add it to the reading list. As you know by now, these topics simply go back to the major premise I see about life. That is to say, structurally, we are always in a state of "lack". Certainly, technology (of any era) speaks to the lack of many things: the lack of the ability to survive without it, for example. If we always had what we needed, we would never want. But want is subversively valued as the summum bonum so that we can cope with our deficiency by praising that very deficiency. Lack brings want, want brings MORE STUFF, MORE STUFF brings MORE METHODS FOR GETTING THE STUFF! Just the fact alone, that we need health care STUFF, and food STUFF, alone means there needs to be more growth.. Then we need MILITARY STUFF, and scientific STUFF, which filters into CONSUMER STUFF. And of course that STUFF needs more STUFF to support the STUFF and administrations grows, and writing jobs to market it, and on and and and on. The growth of technology is the growth of the minutia. Every equation, every line of code, every twist of the manufacturing widget. It is an ultimate delve into the intricacies of the minutia of the intricacies of minutia. It is the ultimate culmination of our sense of lack.

    The rational "parent" brings new children into the world so that they can be MINUTIA MONGERS and bring us more STUFF. But of course, I am not talking about the simple sex = baby cases. This was meant for purely so-called rational reasons to bear and raise a child
  • Bitter Crank
    8.1k
    The rational "parent" brings new children into the world so thatschopenhauer1

    I agree with a lot of your down-beat points. People who are consciously and deliberately upward mobile start planning their child's glorious career before ovulation. They already have the money (or they have a plan) to thrust this baby into the upper class if at all possible and they pursue it from the get go. Pregnant mama eats well, listens to Mozart, all that. Then attention showered on the baby, and early childhood education (way before first grade), private schools, tutoring, dancing lessons or whatever the fuck, push, push, push. If all goes well, these great expectations pan out pretty well, on a local basis, anyway.

    Successful people want more stuff, get more stuff, waste more stuff, and learn jack shit from the experience. Unsuccessful people do the same thing, just with lower quality stuff purchased from the dollar store or K-Mart.

    The book and series I suggested won't change your mind -- I think you will find Kunstler's approach affirming. His non-fiction books, Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology, and the Fate of the Nation and The Long Emergency (among others) develops ideas about the logic of STUFF that you expressed. Mostly I suggested the books because they are great post apocalypse fiction and are far, far more pleasant than Cormac McCarthy's THE ROAD which made me very uncomfortable. I watched the first few minutes of the movie The Road and decided it was going to supply too many intolerably vivid images of ghastliness. CLICK!

    Stuffiness of civilization is not new, of course. The touring show of Pompeii artifacts displayed all sorts of STUFF that reasonably well-fixed Romans needed. The tombs of Egypt are full of STUFF that the well-fixed Egyptian needed. Luxury goods, like a piece of thin leather about 3 sq. feet in area, delicately cut to look like woven fabric. Conspicuous consumption.

    We started to accumulate stuff when and where it was possible a long time ago. If we were somewhat settled down, food was reasonably plentiful, the climate wasn't too awful, stuff just started to accumulate. We and pack rats seem to have a similar urge.

    Are you familiar with Thorsten Veblen? He published his Theory of the Leisure Class in 1899. It is a slim volume. One of the themes in the book is about "conspicuous consumption". People consume in order to display their excess capacity. His classic example are fields of grass upon which no sheep are allowed to graze, yet the grass is short. "Lawns" are a demonstration that one can afford to grow grass for appearance and pay someone to cut it short. It's a totally non-productive pasture. The manicured pasture surrounding stately homes was quickly copied by the middle class (even the working class) who propagated much-fussed-over small pieces of pasturage upon which no cow will ever graze.

    You can get the collected works e-edition of Veblen for 99¢ on Amazon--buy it today! His "Leisure Class" is still in print in paper and is regularly re-issued. You need more STUFF, Schop; at least the e-edition doesn't take up much space.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.1k
    I agree with a lot of your down-beat points. People who are consciously and deliberately upward mobile start planning their child's glorious career before ovulation. They already have the money (or they have a plan) to thrust this baby into the upper class if at all possible and they pursue it from the get go. Pregnant mama eats well, listens to Mozart, all that. Then attention showered on the baby, and early childhood education (way before first grade), private schools, tutoring, dancing lessons or whatever the fuck, push, push, push. If all goes well, these great expectations pan out pretty well, on a local basis, anyway.Bitter Crank

    Very good description.

    The book and series I suggested won't change your mind -- I think you will find Kunstler's approach affirming. His non-fiction books, Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology, and the Fate of the Nation and The Long Emergency (among others) develops ideas about the logic of STUFF that you expressed. Mostly I suggested the books because they are great post apocalypse fiction and are far, far more pleasant than Cormac McCarthy's THE ROAD which made me very uncomfortable. I watched the first few minutes of the movie The Road and decided it was going to supply too many intolerably vivid images of ghastliness. CLICK!Bitter Crank
    Thanks for recommendations. They do fit the theme it seems. Fiction can often paint the picture, that a monograph can't quite get at.

    We and pack rats seem to have a similar urge.Bitter Crank

    Need a home to keep stuff.

    Are you familiar with Thorsten Veblen? He published his Theory of the Leisure Class in 1899. It is a slim volume. One of the themes in the book is about "conspicuous consumption". People consume in order to display their excess capacity. His classic example are fields of grass upon which no sheep are allowed to graze, yet the grass is short. "Lawns" are a demonstration that one can afford to grow grass for appearance and pay someone to cut it short. It's a totally non-productive pasture. The manicured pasture surrounding stately homes was quickly copied by the middle class (even the working class) who propagated much-fussed-over small pieces of pasturage upon which no cow will ever graze.Bitter Crank

    I've heard of this. Sounds like it is still relevant.

    I think Marx main contribution was showing that the material circumstances- like economic structures drive ideas. Well, to tweak that a bit- technology might even be more foundational than economic systems. It doesn’t matter who owns what, or what style of distribution. Rather, it matters more in how a society protects, maintains, and progresses the technologies. Our culture really is centered on this. The priests? The engineers.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.1k
    @Bitter Crank

    I'll put it this way. Try to make an argument against the fact that the most valuable people are the technology originators? You can be cynical and say its money that talks. Its technology that makes the money do anything.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.1k
    Fiction can often paint the picture, that a monograph can't quite get at.schopenhauer1

    A World Made by Hand is fiction. Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology, and the Fate of the Nation and The Long Emergency are nonfiction. Similar themes explicated in both.

    Try to make an argument against the fact that the most valuable people are the technology originators?schopenhauer1

    There is a tricky connection between technology and money.

    There are many useful inventions that have been patented, and never saw the light of day. Maybe some were "earth shaking, paradigm shifting, watershed" inventions; some were good and useful inventions, and some were flights of imagination.

    Why?

    One reason is that a lot of money has already been sunk into other technologies. An obvious example is petroleum. Drilling for, pumping, refining, distributing, and selling petroleum products is very lucrative, but also very expensive. The sunk costs of the petroleum industry, and the reliability of the income are too large to risk investment in... wind and solar farms, highly efficient engines, mass transit systems, and so forth.

    Investors hate risk, especially when they already are getting big payoffs from previous risks and investments.

    Why don't pharmaceutical manufacturers search for new antibiotics? Because a good, new antibiotic will result in sales of one or two bottles of pills per person per illness. Maybe 50 pills. Blood pressure medications, on the other hand, are a life-long proposition. So, chronic illnesses get investments that acute infections aren't going to get. Forget about making immunization serums. That's 1 shot per person per life-time. Where's the profit in that?

    Windmill and solar farms are getting built, and are generating electricity. More could be built, and more sustainable electricity could be generated, so why not? Again, sunk costs. The cost of a new nuclear generating plant are extremely high, so the existing ones are going to be run until they... blow up? Maybe, but at least until they really are no good anymore. Same for coal fired plants. They are reliable, the infrastructure is in place and operating well, and they make money. Global warming makes new coal-fired plants inadvisable (no such thing as "clean coal").

    Power companies are a little more forward thinking than General Motors and Exxon. The end of their fossil fuel is a bit closer. (Plenty of coal, but it's increasingly uncompetitive cost wise.) In a number of states, wind and solar are providing a significant and growing share of electric power (in states that have good wind resources--not every state does) and where there is lots of sun near large metropolitan areas. Minnesota, Texas, Oklahoma, and California are 4 states that I know are getting quite a bit of electrical power sustainablyb from wind. The SE states lack sustained wind streams, but they do have sun enough. But... southern crackers. What do you expect?

    So, great and good ideas generally die on the vine if somebody doesn't come along to capitalize them. Here's a small example: Somebody started a little mushroom powdering operation in town (this was... 20 years ago). It was a good product -- just dried mushrooms ground to a powder. Very good in a number of dishes, like casseroles, gravy, soup, etc. They disappeared from the market in a a couple of years. Why? The costs of expanding promotion, manufacturing, packaging, and distribution were too high. They needed an investor who, apparently, didn't materialize. No money, no powdered mushrooms. Powdered mushrooms are manufactured and sold on Amazon, by larger operations.

    Or, personal issue, take high efficiency water heaters. I could buy one, and it would use less gas than the conventional water heater I have. However, the savings per year would not equal the cost of this tank for maybe 20 years. The same applies to roof top solar power, adding extensive insulation, etc. The payback period is longer than my probable remaining lifetime. If it paid for itself in two years, hey -- I'd do it.

    Technology has to pay off reasonably fast, or people can't afford to adopt it, whether they are individuals or Fortune 500 companies.

    Excellent ideas alone usually won't fly. They require funds to lift them aloft.
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