PETER THIEL: But I think that when you look at this question of how much technological progress has been happening, we get into all these complicated measurement issues. The one that I cite as the big data point is that if you look at the U.S. say in the last 40 years, 1973 to today, median wages have been stagnant. Maybe the mean wages have gone up maybe a small amount, not very much. The 40 years before that, 1932 to 1972, they went up by a factor of 6.
So, if you looked at how people did from ‘32 to ‘72, you had a six-fold improvement, and it was matched by incredible technological progress. Cars got better. You had the aeronautics industry got started. You went from no planes to supersonic jets. You had the computers were invented.
You had all sorts of incredibly important dimensions in which progress took place.And so I agree we’ve had certain narrow areas where there’s been significant progress, but it’s very odd that it hasn’t translated into economic well being. …
Peter Thiel vs Eric Schmidt on technological progress, or lack thereof, and much else besides. Full transcript here.
This is a very insightful observation. In fact, I asked a related question on Quora about the relationship between income and wealth inequality and technological progress. I wonder if because of stagnant income growth and significant debt for the middle class, then technology companies have focused on free software products. There’s probably a complex relationship here, and it’s certainly not cause and effect. But try to imagine yourself as the median American household earning about $45,000 over the past decade and having about $3,000 in consumer debt. Perhaps your mortgage is underwater. Most of your money goes to food, housing, and entertainment. Now try imagining selling something to this household. If your company is not named Apple or Walmart or P&G or other major consumer brand, you have a problem. You can give away your technology like Facebook and Google and many other software companies.
But I can’t think of a large-scale hardware company solving big problems that can give away or sell low-cost products to feed new research and development. Thus, I am inclined to think that the median American household cannot create enough demand for much new technology. The major exception is Apple, who had $100 billion in worldwide revenue (and maybe $50 billion in US revenue? I hope Google Finance eventually does some cool mining of regulatory reports) in the previous 52 weeks ending September 2011. Amazon and Samsung are also successful, and they both are pushing the envelope. Google is becoming a larger hardware manufacturer and that gives me lots of hope. Elon Musk’s companies are making incredible technology, but I would call their products luxury goods.
The big question: is there a company that can make high-volume low-cost hardware technology that solves big problems, and if not, why, and how can we change that?
I could not go to sleep. While I lay in that quiet front bedroom, with a distant street lamp throwing a reassuring glow through the curtained window, I began to think of the viciousness of people who would bomb my home. I could feel the anger rising when I realized that my wife and baby could have been killed. I thought about the city commissioners and all the statements that they had made about me and the Negro generally. I was once more on the verge of corroding anger. And once more I caught myself and said: “You must not allow yourself to become bitter.”
I tried to put myself in the place of the police commissioners. I said to myself these are not bad men. They are misguided.They have fine reputations in the community. In their dealings with white people they are respectful and gentlemanly. They probably think they are right in their methods of dealing with Negroes. They say the things they say about us and treat us as they do because they have been taught these things. From the cradle to the grave, it is instilled in them that the Negro is inferior. Their parents probably taught them that; the schools they attended taught them that; the books they read, even their churches and ministers, often taught them that; and above all the very concept of segregation teaches them that. The whole cultural traditional under which they have grown—a tradition blighted with more than 250 years of slavery and more than 90 years of segregation—teaches them that Negroes do not deserve certain things. So these men are merely the children of their culture. When they seek to preserve segregation they are seeking to preserve only what their local folkways have taught them was right.
I made this same exact post a year ago. You can send a postcard via email to riders in the Tour de France. What an amazing series of tubes.
You can even send postcards to the workers who help the Tour roll along the 2,000 mile course. I worked for a forthcoming documentary of the 2009 Tour de France, and it’s a very hard job just to sit in a car and drive that far! Imagine riding…
Hossein Moussavian, the former Iranian nuclear negotiator, now at Princeton, has written an important interpretation of the West’s approach to the Iranian nuclear question. According to Moussavian, writing in Arms Control Today, the US strategy has rejected repeated offers to cap Iran’s nuclear development and install maximum transparency. Instead, the US and its allies have insisted on zero enrichment, in effect demanding that Iran totally dismantle its nuclear program. Iran refused.
The results have been a steady increase in Iran’s nuclear progress on all fronts. And, as Iran’s gradual mastering of the nuclear fuel cycle has grown, the price of any settlement has increased.
Today we find ourselves in the position of imposing crushing sanctions on Iran, while Iran stubbornly digs in to uphold its national pride. This all-or-nothing approach is painting both parties into their respective corners, leaving only economic collapse or war as the way out.
Moussavian reviews, from a distinctly Iranian perspective, the ways in which the US and other negotiators have actually made the problem more severe. He downplays the negative role that Iran has played at various time, but his overall analysis is indisputable — that our tough negotiating posture and our rejection of repeated offers from the Iranian side have in fact led us to the exact opposite of what we claimed we wanted. Despite more than a decade of harsh talk and ever-increasing economic sanctions, Iran’s nuclear program today is larger and more capable than ever.
With that as our dismal track record, it is fair to ask whether More of the Same is a formula for future success.
When we look into the sky, we are all humble by the creation.
There are total 48 dimensions in our universe. 36 dimensions are inaccessible to us. Our souls can access 12 dimensions (12 strand soul DNA) while this material world with plant earth limits us to only 3 dimensions with Double Helix DNA.
Knowledge is limitless, so does intelligent being.
Our soul has no difference; we are united as one. Our differences in body, senses, sex, intelligence, power and wealth, is only the trap in the darkness which prevent us to unite our other half soul into the lightness.
LIGHTNESS INTO THE SPACE AS SPACE- BEING. IT IS OUR FUTURE.
”—The comments from Charlie Rose’s interview of Larry Page
“Sexuality (or gender) is just as distorting when we fixate upon it as when we deny it. Substituting gender (or “race” or “ethnicity” or “me”) for social class or income category could only have occurred to people for whom politics was a recreational avocation, a projection of self onto the world at large.”—
“One of the insidious lessons about TV is the meta-lesson that you’re dumb. This is all you can do […] When in fact there are parts of us … that are a lot more ambitious than that. And what we need… is seriously engaged art that can teach again that we’re smart.”—
“Her intense and pure religiousness took the form of her having equal faith in the existence of another world and in the impossibility of comprehending it in terms of earthly life. All one could do was to glimpse, amid the haze and the chimeras, something real ahead, just as persons endowed with an unusual persistence of diurnal cerebration are able to perceive in their deepest sleep, somewhere beyond the throes of an entangled and inept nightmare, the ordered reality of the waking hour.”—
Obamacare may help protect a vulnerable section of our population, but it does nothing to solve the real problem with health care in the US: it is unsustainably expensive and getting worst. In the graph below (left) per capita medical expenditures for several countries are plotted against time….
“Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be
given, if you know them. You must do the best you can—if you know
anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong—to explain it. If you
make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then
you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well
as those that agree with it. There is also a more subtle problem.
When you have put a lot of ideas together to make an elaborate
theory, you want to make sure, when explaining what it fits, that
those things it fits are not just the things that gave you the idea
for the theory; but that the finished theory makes something else
come out right, in addition.”—
On the journey down from Naples the party had fallen in with a couple of Italian youths who offered to act as guides. At Paestum, where the odd-assorted little band picnicked at noon in the Temple of Hera, the young men expressed their curiosity as to the identity and occupations of the Americans….
“Nouveau bar à vins, ouvert en Septembre dernier, 7 rue Lobineau 75006 Paris , face Marché Saint Germain.
Ambiance chaleureuse, un peu lounge, depuis quelques semaines , c’est devenu un peu “ze place to be ” pour un clientèle très jeune et très bien accompagnée …..,”—The French language gives useful clues.