Archive for March 18th, 2008

Practical Men Discuss the Future

http://listverse.com/history/top-30-failed-technology-predictions/

1. “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” — Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC), maker of big business mainframe computers, arguing against the PC in 1977.

2. “We will never make a 32 bit operating system.” — Bill Gates

3. “Lee DeForest has said in many newspapers and over his signature that it would be possible to transmit the human voice across the Atlantic before many years. Based on these absurd and deliberately misleading statements, the misguided public … has been persuaded to purchase stock in his company …” — a U.S. District Attorney, prosecuting American inventor Lee DeForest for selling stock fraudulently through the mail for his Radio Telephone Company in 1913.

4. “There is practically no chance communications space satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television, or radio service inside the United States.” — T. Craven, FCC Commissioner, in 1961 (the first commercial communications satellite went into service in 1965).

5. “To place a man in a multi-stage rocket and project him into the controlling gravitational field of the moon where the passengers can make scientific observations, perhaps land alive, and then return to earth – all that constitutes a wild dream worthy of Jules Verne. I am bold enough to say that such a man-made voyage will never occur regardless of all future advances.” — Lee DeForest, American radio pioneer and inventor of the vacuum tube, in 1926
6. “A rocket will never be able to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.” — New York Times, 1936.
7. “Flight by machines heavier than air is unpractical (sic) and insignificant, if not utterly impossible.” – Simon Newcomb; The Wright Brothers flew at Kittyhawk 18 months later.
8. “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” — Lord Kelvin, British mathematician and physicist, president of the British Royal Society, 1895.

9. “There will never be a bigger plane built.” — A Boeing engineer, after the first flight of the 247, a twin engine plane that holds ten people.

10. “Nuclear-powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality in 10 years.” -– Alex Lewyt, president of vacuum cleaner company Lewyt Corp., in the New York Times in 1955.

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Mantra Thinking: “Energy Shortage” is the Wrong Term

“Energy Shortage” is the wrong term

Our problem is not AVAILABLE energy per se. We face a lack of USABLE energy.

As Prometheus points out in an SF thread, hydrogen technology is not a means of producing power, but of packaging it.

As just one example we have an almost unlimited supply of potential hydroelectric power, which is a form of solar power, available. But it hard to put a waterfall in your gas tank.

There is an almost unlimited amount of heat energy two miles beneath your feet and that is peanuts compared to what is further down. But the Planet Earth will not fit into your air conditioner.

Our challenge is to get the energy that is available into our cars and homes. Peak Oil makes sense because we will not be allowed to.

We face a difficulty which, on the technical side, isn’t that different from the ones white technology has routinely dealt with. It reminds me of the attempts at powered flight around 1900. The gas engine had given us the power, we had to ADAPT it.

The Wright Brothers did that in the Kill Devil Hills, not at Kitty Hawk, in December of 1903. But they did not face the problem then that they would now.

First they would have needed a permit to use the Kill Devil sand dunes. The police might not have allowed them to risk their lives that way. Jane Fonda and a guy with a guitar would have demonstrated against their putting that ugly, smelly thing in the air and scaring the birds.

What is creepy is that this is NOT an exaggeration. In fact, these would be just the beginning of their problems.

Let’s get real, gang:

All energy production and use involves risk. The minute anyone tries to do anything, the activists come out, as nuclear energy shows.

We have an army of vested interests any serious technology will have to fight. We have another army of Mommy Professor Activists whose full time job is to protest ANYTHING. We have another army among our three million lawyers — oddly enough, about the same number we have in our prisons — looking for anything to make a lawsuit out of.

What we face is not a shortage of energy, but a glut of Mommy Professor’s kids.

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Memo to National Review

In its issue dedeicated to William Buckley, National Review beagn by its obligatory grovelingover National Review’s evil position on civil rights inthe 50s and 60s. That prompted this rebuttal.

Don’t hold your breath awaiting a reply.

TO THE NATIONAL REVIEW EDITORIAL STAFF:

William Buckley was never a segregationist, but he allowed me to be one and to say so. He published Ernst van den Haag’s criticism of integration – sorry, de-separation – using an argument which is being rediscovered.

It is not a coincidental that today, when the Propositional State is accepted, Europe is imprisoning people for questioning the NUMBERS killed in the Holocaust and the Canadian Human Rights Commission is becoming an embarrassment in its monomaniacal crushing of all dissent on the subject of multiracialism/multiculturalism, and National Review apologizes for allowing any questioning of the de-separationist mentality.

A Propositional State cannot allow free speech or freedom of thought. A society whose sole basis is a proposition cannot allow any thinking that will lead to dissent from that proposition, as I hope this memo demonstrates.

Segregationists are laughed at because they were so right. A Doonesbury cartoon showed his characters discovering a list of student infractions in a 1950s high school. As they were read out, everybody laughed: “Chewing gum, talking in class…” What a bunch of bumpkins!

In the 1950s .drug use was and illegitimacy were considered out-of-control problems confined to blacks and Puerto Ricans. As we predicted, the drug and illegitimacy rate among whites is now higher than either was among blacks back then, and the black rates have gone out of sight.

What was laughed at then as alarmism is now regarded as naiveté.

Liberals were right about one thing: America, like every stable society, was based on hypocrisy. Segregationists said that a society that was REALLY based on non-racialism would lack the cohesion necessary to survive. If you don’t see the truth in that assertion, feel around you. Maybe you’re still in bed.

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Practical History: Slavery in Practice

A generation ago, a black-white couple set out to write a book called “Time on the Cross” which was to be the usual crying session about the suffering of blacks under slavery. They then started READING for it.

The result was a book that got screamingly denounced by all the Mommy Professors who would have demanded the usual Prizes for the one originally intended.

It turned out that as the authors READ THE FACTS, they found that masters encouraged stable families among their blacks. Score one for Family Values! They WORK!

Secondly, a master didn’t want to cause trouble in the population they had to LIVE among.

Thirdly, another practical point. A man who owned a plantation who wanted to dally was rich. He could find plenty of white girls to dally with.

The really awful plantations, and there were plenty of them, were the ones where the owner was an absentee. Unlike Northern factory workers, the resident owner knew every one of his workers BY NAME. He had daily contact with them. So they were treated, BY NINETEENTH STANDARDS, well.

“Time on the Cross” ended up being an econometric study, showing the percentage of total output that went to the workers. It was astonishingly high on plantations compared to other NINETEENTH CENTURY production facilities.

Oddly enough, in tandem with this point, the study concluded that the plantation economy, contrary to the accepted belief, was actually very profitable. It PAID to treat your workers well.

This was a deadly blow to Marxism, which insists that the more you exploited workers, the more you profit.

This, and the confirmation tha families values worked, turned Mommy Professor’s anger into sreaming rage.

There were octoroon parties and like disgusting crap in the cities, but that was voluntary.

Reality is a real damper on Politically Correct history.

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