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Thread: Great Expectations?

  1. #1
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Default Great Expectations?

    Nearly every developed nation is busy trying to balance recovery with austerity, figuring which ways will jumpstart slow/stagnant economies, reducing unemployment, taxes, debts and deficits, etc. Politicians of every stripe are pushing their agendas and using key words like GROWTH. With an expectation that we'll return to previous growth rates of 4% or more....because that's been the trend for decades.

    Perhaps it's that growth (and industrial revolutions) that's been the exception and not the rule, creating expectations that don't match reality? Short of another Sputnik moment in our lifetimes, I'm skeptical of politicians and economists promising/projecting future growth based on the past. There are a few theories out there that are challenging conventional wisdom, but probably won't be given credibility because it seems....pessimistic.

    Most people want every next generation to be better, do better, have better, etc. It's practically built into American DNA. One of the reasons people are so freaked out about The Great Recession, globalization and global slowing, income inequality (1%-99%-47%) and social immobility is that we're forced to address if our expectations are based in reality. If our kids or grandkids will be "better off" than we are now, or if there's a need to lower some expectations, and accept a new plateau. What do you think?

    http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.c...evolutions/?hp

    http://faculty-web.at.northwestern.e...wth%20Over.pdf

    http://american.com/archive/2012/aug...t-growth-cycle
    Last edited by GGT; 10-16-2012 at 02:19 AM.

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    Eh, how much did real income in the US grow again since the 1970s? I thought most people could by now have some idea that the post war growth spurt was the exception rather than a solid base for growth in the long term.
    Greece shows us that there is a kind of politician worse than the ones that break their election promises; the ones that keep their election promises.

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    Administrator Dreadnaught's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GGT View Post
    Nearly every developed nation is busy trying to balance recovery with austerity
    I disagree. Many countries in Europe are imposing austerity on the private sector, while the public sector gets off relatively lightly.

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    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Has the USA even started down the path to austerity yet?

    I don't hear figures of 4% growth being bandied about by anyone either, a return to 2-2.5% growth in the medium term is what is normally said here. Growth will happen for as long as science/technology/human understanding etc improves and business environments etc permit it. I don't see any reason to believe that we are reaching an end to the era of knowledge or that we have tapped all potential for improvements. Much of the world is growing, the USA isn't even in recession unlike most of Europe so I'm not certain what you're talking about.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    I don't see any reason to believe that we are reaching an end to the era of knowledge
    You can find a pretty good argument that we are indeed existing the information era. This doesn't mean that information will suddenly stop being created or discovered, just like it wasn't somehow not created and discovered before entering this era. It simply means the progress (library expansion, storage, transmission, computation) seen during this era can't and won't expand at its current rate. Moore's Law will eventually fail.
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

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    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    You can find a pretty good argument that we are indeed existing the information era. This doesn't mean that information will suddenly stop being created or discovered, just like it wasn't somehow not created and discovered before entering this era. It simply means the progress (library expansion, storage, transmission, computation) seen during this era can't and won't be expanding at its current rate. Moore's Law will eventually fail.
    Or the opposite and it'll keep improving at an exponential rate.

    Storage is reaching a stage where with the digital era its peanuts to store what was once a major project. Take the Kindle for example where I can hold in my hand a device that can hold thousands of books, download more in a second. Any out of copyright great books can be downloaded instantly for free. Get a sudden urge to read Les Miserables or Jane Austen? Done.

    Its funny you mention libraries because in 50 years time I doubt there'll be many at all, they're fast becoming obsolete. Yet despite that our access to knowledge and information has never been easier or quicker and we're only just started really delving down the path of this as people try to start putting it to serious functional use. Only 10 years ago when I wanted to research something seriously I went to the library, not the internet. I think we're only just scratching the surface of possibilities and if anything Moore's law (as a general theory as applied, not specifically transistors) may be too conservative.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  7. #7
    Wrong sense of library. Not that I think libraries will dissappear, I'm certain some will fail to evolve, but given our current push towards the importance of idea ownership (especially as 3D printing comes about) libraries will find their technological footing again.

    Tech can only go so small (and fast) before we reach the limits of its ability. Doesn't matter if we're talking about transitors at the atomic level (Intel has predicted that end coming by 2018), quantum or DNA computing. They each have theoretical limits. The best you could hope for is a technological singularity (true end of libraries). Which again would put us outside the Information Era.
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

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    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Just because A technology has its limits (and I agree on that) does not mean that ALL technology does or will be met within this century. While nano-processes may become more common, that technology is a tool and only part of the bigger picture. There are far more technologies out there that we still have a long way to improve on yet. Plus information includes how we use and apply it as well, not just how we create it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Plus information includes how we use and apply it as well, not just how we create it.
    This is information, not the information era. Yes formulas and calculations will continue to improve. Hell, we're still working on the perfect wheel and gear. It does not mean they will continue to improve at their current or previous rate.
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

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    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    This is information, not the information era. Yes formulas and calculations will continue to improve. Hell, we're still working on the perfect wheel and gear. It does not mean they will continue to improve at their current or previous rate.
    You're right, but they may just as equally improve more.

    I see no evidence of a slowing down in improvements actually happening, can you point to it? People have been saying such will happen for centuries but instead we exponentially improve further.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

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    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    I see no evidence of a slowing down in improvements actually happening, can you point to it? People have been saying such will happen for centuries but instead we exponentially improve further.
    It's noted in the links, Gordon's research paper in particular goes back centuries and covers the main Industrial Revolutions (3). The links in the OP are the meat of the discussion, not the intro I wrote.

    edit--you can't eat an iPad.


    Hazir's correct about 'income growth' since the 70s. That era had only one IR (technology/information), and was the beginning of higher income inequality, shedding jobs, restructuring labor, etc. Other theories assume the financial engineering, monetizing mortgage debt, and the housing bubbles were reactions to globalization and slow domestic growth. More short term 'profits' in asset switching, than real sustainable growth, with a growing middle class. That's part of the Big Picture, too.

    As for policy....'austerity' that strips funding from education, health, or infrastructure aren't recipes for growth. It's hard to pin down Romney's proposals (because he flips around so much, and doesn't give specifics) but I'm pretty sure Ryan's budget assumes 4% growth in GDP in his math. That's part of the theory that tax cuts create jobs and grow an economy, and Trickle Down. Well, the last decade or two rather busts that theory. The wealthy have recovered and corporate profits are high, but their trillions in cash aren't putting folks to work. And the middle class is still stuck in the doldrums.

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    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GGT View Post
    It's noted in the links, Gordon's research paper in particular goes back centuries and covers the main Industrial Revolutions (3). The links in the OP are the meat of the discussion, not the intro I wrote.

    edit--you can't eat an iPad.
    You don't need to eat an iPad. Never heard of Maslow? We've satisfied the need for food a long time ago
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    I disagree. Many countries in Europe are imposing austerity on the private sector, while the public sector gets off relatively lightly.
    Which countries would that be? The Brits for example are on a path to grind down the public sector to levels below those in the USA. In Holland austerity mostly means a shift from tax on income to VAT, a reduction of the deductability of interest paid on mortgages, and raising the retirement age (social security).
    Greece shows us that there is a kind of politician worse than the ones that break their election promises; the ones that keep their election promises.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    You don't need to eat an iPad. Never heard of Maslow? We've satisfied the need for food a long time ago
    On average, each calorie you consume takes 12 of burnt oil, though
    In the future, the Berlin wall will be a mile high, and made of steel. You too will be made to crawl, to lick children's blood from jackboots. There will be no creativity, only productivity. Instead of love there will be fear and distrust, instead of surrender there will be submission. Contact will be replaced with isolation, and joy with shame. Hope will cease to exist as a concept. The Earth will be covered with steel and concrete. There will be an electronic policeman in every head. Your children will be born in chains, live only to serve, and die in anguish and ignorance.
    The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessus View Post
    On average, each calorie you consume takes 12 of burnt oil, though
    For a vegetarian?
    Greece shows us that there is a kind of politician worse than the ones that break their election promises; the ones that keep their election promises.

  16. #16
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    You don't need to eat an iPad. Never heard of Maslow? We've satisfied the need for food a long time ago
    "We" still have global food crises, whether in production shortages or distribution gaps. Maybe you've forgotten when The Great Recession -- and international droughts or floods -- caused commodity price jumps, some one billion people fell into poverty and hunger, and there were riots over grains, cooking oil, and bread?

    The US (and UK) still have people who need food assistance because of unemployment and/or underemployment with low wages, retirees whose SS checks barely make ends meet, more children living in poverty....No, "we" haven't satisfied the need for food. And it's not something to roll your eyes about.

    Look, if you don't want to read the links and comment about their theories and data about future growth, that's fine. But I'm not interested if your posts are just tangential critiques of my posts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GGT View Post
    It's noted in the links, Gordon's research paper in particular goes back centuries and covers the main Industrial Revolutions (3). The links in the OP are the meat of the discussion, not the intro I wrote.

    edit--you can't eat an iPad.


    Hazir's correct about 'income growth' since the 70s. That era had only one IR (technology/information), and was the beginning of higher income inequality, shedding jobs, restructuring labor, etc. Other theories assume the financial engineering, monetizing mortgage debt, and the housing bubbles were reactions to globalization and slow domestic growth. More short term 'profits' in asset switching, than real sustainable growth, with a growing middle class. That's part of the Big Picture, too.

    As for policy....'austerity' that strips funding from education, health, or infrastructure aren't recipes for growth. It's hard to pin down Romney's proposals (because he flips around so much, and doesn't give specifics) but I'm pretty sure Ryan's budget assumes 4% growth in GDP in his math. That's part of the theory that tax cuts create jobs and grow an economy, and Trickle Down. Well, the last decade or two rather busts that theory. The wealthy have recovered and corporate profits are high, but their trillions in cash aren't putting folks to work. And the middle class is still stuck in the doldrums.
    Strangely enough people with food stamps can somehow afford a smart phone with a data plan. I guess you can't eat iPads but it appears that if you can afford one you shouldn't be worried about starving..

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Strangely enough people with food stamps can somehow afford a smart phone with a data plan. I guess you can't eat iPads but it appears that if you can afford one you shouldn't be worried about starving..
    MetroPCS phones are the cheapest phones in my region, cheaper than even Tmobile's pay as you go. I'm paying $25 a line, a month, for all you can eat everything. Not all smartphones or data plans / speeds are created equal.

    and ipads aren't smartphones
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

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    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Strangely enough people with food stamps can somehow afford a smart phone with a data plan. I guess you can't eat iPads but it appears that if you can afford one you shouldn't be worried about starving..
    If you don't have an intelligent reply to the OP links, please don't contaminate this thread with your ideological nonsense. Go pimp your own existing threads.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GGT View Post
    If you don't have an intelligent reply to the OP links, please don't contaminate this thread with your ideological nonsense. Go pimp your own existing threads.
    Your entire premise is retarded. Tomorrow will be better than today. You're a freaking pessimistic Luddite who thinks that this era is somehow special and will buck all trends. Sure its possible a nuclear war will break out. Sure its possible that some new deadly contagion will decimate the world's population. But its not likely. Technology will continue to make life easier and more productive. Life expectancy will go up. Medicinal advances will occur. And life will be better tomorrow then it is today. This thread and basically half of all your posts are dedicated to a bleak outlook of the future witch says an awful lot about yourself. Sad really.

  21. #21
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Agreed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  22. #22
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Your entire premise is retarded. Tomorrow will be better than today. You're a freaking pessimistic Luddite who thinks that this era is somehow special and will buck all trends. Sure its possible a nuclear war will break out. Sure its possible that some new deadly contagion will decimate the world's population. But its not likely. Technology will continue to make life easier and more productive. Life expectancy will go up. Medicinal advances will occur. And life will be better tomorrow then it is today. This thread and basically half of all your posts are dedicated to a bleak outlook of the future witch says an awful lot about yourself. Sad really.
    This is exactly the personal attacks I meant, and wanted to avoid. I already know what you think of me but don't care to take the time to defend myself, or explain why you're wrong.

    Rather, I'd hoped we could discuss and debate the OP links and that premise. Agree/disagree, why/why not. The research paper from Northwestern gave rise to the NYT article, and the American article. If you'd read them, you'd know the last one is quite optimistic and critical of pessimistic nay-sayers.



    1) Growth is a big concern around the globe. The UK is contracting, the US is growing slowly, Europe is a mess, Asia and India are growing fast. But even China is slowing down some.

    2) Recovery after a Financial Crisis and Global Recession is different for developed nations (than those still trying to develop, with millions of their citizens living on $2/day and deep poverty)....but is often conflated with expectations of traditional growth.

    3) Expectations are a large part of economic projections. Not meeting those expectations, with backward-looking comparisons, or using the incorrect comparisons, can be presented as 'failure'.

    4) Rapid growth might be the wrong expectation, and could extend the bubble/burst short-term thinking that helped make the mess in the first place.

  23. #23
    Nihilist Nessus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Your entire premise is retarded. Tomorrow will be better than today. You're a freaking pessimistic Luddite who thinks that this era is somehow special and will buck all trends. Sure its possible a nuclear war will break out. Sure its possible that some new deadly contagion will decimate the world's population. But its not likely. Technology will continue to make life easier and more productive. Life expectancy will go up. Medicinal advances will occur. And life will be better tomorrow then it is today. This thread and basically half of all your posts are dedicated to a bleak outlook of the future witch says an awful lot about yourself. Sad really.
    How's that quote go again, "A conservative is someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it"? You seem awful keen on supporting lieberals there, Lewkie.
    In the future, the Berlin wall will be a mile high, and made of steel. You too will be made to crawl, to lick children's blood from jackboots. There will be no creativity, only productivity. Instead of love there will be fear and distrust, instead of surrender there will be submission. Contact will be replaced with isolation, and joy with shame. Hope will cease to exist as a concept. The Earth will be covered with steel and concrete. There will be an electronic policeman in every head. Your children will be born in chains, live only to serve, and die in anguish and ignorance.
    The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.

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