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Entropy production delusion

It is common in knowledgeable circles to talk about the development of civilization in terms of entropy discussion. The term 'entropy...

Friday, January 24, 2014

Technology chasing its tail

One of the most amazing and amusing phenomenon for people to contemplate is how many forms of technology have chased their tails over the years. One classic example is the development of fighter aircraft in the past one hundred years. The British Sopwith Camel tackled the German Fokker in the first World War on also even terms.These biplanes could not fly fast or high but they had many lethal contests. Their gunners did the fighting as the pilots concentrated on out maneuvering their foe.Then came the Second World War and Britain had the Spitfire and Hurricane to match the Messerschmidt and the FockeWulf in the sky over England. They were a lot faster and could go much higher and had machine guns in the wings controlled by the pilot. But they were soon old hat. Jet fighters took over with various versions of the Russian MiG  and Su vying with the American Sabre, Phantom, Tomcat. Eagle and Falcon on paper over the Cold War years. Supersonic flight and equipping these aircraft with missiles were common advances as the aircraft companies attempted to better their competitors.

But innovations in specific fields can become redundant due to developments in other fields. The prime naval vessels of the early 20th Century were the battleships but they had been replaced by aircraft carriers by the end of the century. Now these giants are becoming redundant as potential enemies acquire advanced cheap missile systems that can spoil the capability of these costly vessels.

Ironically, it is not potential enemies who are now the greatest threat to the military of the powerful countries. Nature is not to be ignored. It spent eons creating fossil fuels only to have those parasitic humans waste that natural wealth. The war machines have become very dependent on these fuels so their capabilities are declining.

But humans will not be outdone easily by nature. Cyber warfare is becoming the new battlefield due to advances in tangible electronic devices and intangible human and artificial intelligence.

That, however, will be the last throw of the technological dice. All technological systems are made of irreplaceable material from the crustal store. And that is inevitably running out. Natural will bat last!

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