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Ed Driscoll

Understatement Alert

May 9th, 2013 - 12:44 pm

“All of the structures that we use to run the world today— our civics, our politics, our legal systems, healthcare, education— are all structured for a world 100 or 200 years ago, not for the world of today. So we think we’re in for a lot of disruption,” says Salim Ismail, founding director of Singularity University.

– From Reason TV’s video interview: “Singularity University’s Salim Ismail on the Age of Technological Disruption”

Though given that Ismail mentions Moore’s Law, it’s worth quoting Kevin Williamson’s thoughts on that topic:

“We treat technological progress as though it were a natural process, and we speak of Moore’s law — computers’ processing power doubles every two years — as though it were one of the laws of thermodynamics. But it is not an inevitable, natural process. It is the outcome of a particular social order.”

A social order the current administration is deeply antithetical towards, hence our current string of bad economic “luck:”

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

Or to put it another way, “You didn’t build that.”

(For my recent interview with Williamson, click here.)

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Looking at the past 400 years, almost all advancement has come from a very narrow Western tradition that came from Western Europe, and which was particularly productive in England and Anglo Saxon America. One has to read history to understand this, and the UK since WW2 gives only a hint of its former productiveness.
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