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When You Change the World and No One Notices


rkbabang
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I'm reading Physics of the Future right now (published in 2011) and in the last chapter the author talks about how solar paneled satellites on a massive scale could power the entire planet. He goes on to say the largest roadblock is the cost of launching rockets and that they'd need to be reusable to make the project realistic, but that reusable rockets are far off in the future. And then boom, four years after the book is published, Space-X lands their first rocket.

 

That got me thinking that reusable rockets are probably going to change the world in a lot more ways than I previously thought (more companies will be able to afford more space experiments). It was also a good reminder of how hard technology is to predict. The author (Michio Kaku) is a pretty accomplished theoretical physicist and even he massively underestimated the rate of progress with launching rockets.

 

Interesting article by the way, never knew that about the Wright brothers.

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That is a great article. I think it rings true. I believe we have some of those technologies in front of us now that do get some attention but nowhere near the attention they would get if we understood their future value. Things like mapping the human genome, Siri/Cortana/Alexa, driverless cars, medical advances in too many fields to list. These things get some attention but if we understood how big the impact will be once those technologies are mature we would all be watching intently, pushing for adoption and cheering every advance.

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Skimmed something recently on seeking apha about bitcoin. Mentioned FMRO and possibly Overstock, one or the other seeking to buy free optionality on bitcoins future.  Since it's so hard to predict the tech winners, finding sources of free stakes in various games might be a way to build a portion a portfolio to capture such dramatic change. Wasn't that how LUK lucked into investing in iron ore in Australia?

 

 

I'm back. Sorry, it's all rather off topic but here it is:

 

http://seekingalpha.com/article/4000580-invest-bitcoin-related-companies

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Most technologies are like that. The internet was like that. I remember my cousin showing me the internet in the early 1990's. Nobody had any idea of what its impact would be.

 

But often the people who change the world aren't given much power or recognition. This guy is a case in point:

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I'm reading Physics of the Future right now (published in 2011) and in the last chapter the author talks about how solar paneled satellites on a massive scale could power the entire planet. He goes on to say the largest roadblock is the cost of launching rockets and that they'd need to be reusable to make the project realistic, but that reusable rockets are far off in the future. And then boom, four years after the book is published, Space-X lands their first rocket.

 

That got me thinking that reusable rockets are probably going to change the world in a lot more ways than I previously thought (more companies will be able to afford more space experiments). It was also a good reminder of how hard technology is to predict. The author (Michio Kaku) is a pretty accomplished theoretical physicist and even he massively underestimated the rate of progress with launching rockets.

 

Interesting article by the way, never knew that about the Wright brothers.

 

One thing that would very much advance space exploration/development would be a "bean stalk" or space elevator.

 

If the current cost of attaining LEO is $800/pound.  Re-usable rockets bring that down to $150-$200 pound.

 

A space elevator would bring that down to $10/pound.

 

Safety & reliability would also skyrocket!

 

Can you imagine what could be done if we could get into LEO for $10/pound?  Mars & outer planets could be explored colonized.  Massive solar arrays.  You could also build MASSIVE space ships by bringing them up in pieces...1 bit by bit, till you have 25,000 of them assembled...

 

Heck, exploration of nearby stars would not even be out of the question...

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