Cutting edge technology

Origi­nal post: http://​​bear­​​cut­ting-edge-tech­nol­ogy/​​

When the micro­scope was in­vented, in a very short pe­riod of time we dis­cov­ered the cell and the con­cept of micro­biol­ogy. That one in­ven­tion al­lowed us to open up en­tire fields of biol­ogy and medicine. Sud­denly we could see the microbes! We could see the ac­tivity that had been go­ing on un­der our noses for so long.

when we started to im­prove our abil­ity to re­fined pure ma­te­ri­als we could fi­nally make fur­nace bricks with spe­cific com­po­si­tion. Spe­cific com­po­si­tions could then be used to make bricks that were able to reach higher tem­per­a­tures with­out break­ing. Higher tem­per­a­tures meant bet­ter re­fin­ing of ma­te­ri­als. Bet­ter re­fin­ing meant higher qual­ity bricks, and so on un­til we now have some very pure tech­nolog­i­cal pro­cesses around mak­ing ma­te­ri­als. But it’s some­thing we didn’t have be­fore the prior tech­nol­ogy on the skill tree.

Be­fore we had re­friger­a­tion and food pack­ag­ing, it was difficult to get your fresh food to sur­vive to your home. Now with pro­duc­tion lines it’s very sim­ple. For all his deca­dence Cae­sar prob­a­bly would have had trou­ble or­der­ing a cheese­burger for $2 and hav­ing it ready in un­der 5 min­utes. We’ve come a long way since Cae­sar. We’ve built a lot of things that help us stand on the shoulders of those who came be­fore us.

Tech­nol­ogy en­ables fur­ther progress. That seems ob­vi­ous. But did that seem ob­vi­ous be­fore look­ing down the micro­scope? Could we have pre­dicted what bricks we could have made with purely re­fined ma­te­ri­als? Could Cae­sar have en­vi­sioned ev­ery cit­i­zen in his king­dom watch­ing TV for rel­a­tively lit­tle cost to those peo­ple? It would have been hard to forsee these things back then.

With the idea that tech­nol­ogy is en­abling fu­ture growth in mind—I bring the ques­tion, “What tech­nol­ogy is cur­rently un­der-util­ised?” Would you be able to spot it when it hap­pens? Touch screen rev­olu­tion­ised phone tech­nol­ogy. Bit­coin—we are still watch­ing but it’s here to stay.

“What tech­nol­ogy is cur­rently un­der-util­ised?”

For ex­am­ple “AI has the power to change ev­ery­thing. (it’s al­most too big to talk about)”. But that’s a big thing. It’s like say­ing “the in­ter­net has the power to change ev­ery­thing” great but could you have pre­dicted google, face­book and uber from a cou­ple of con­nected com­put­ers? I am hop­ing for some more spe­cific ideas about which spe­cific tech­nol­ogy will change life in what way.

Here are some ideas in ROT13 (chrome ad­don d3coder):

  • Pbzch­gre hfr jvyy punatr jura jr ohvyq gur arkg gu­vat gb er­cynpr “xr­lob­neqf”

  • Ge­nafcbeg gr­puabybtl jvyy punatr vs ong­grel be “raretl fg­bentr” gr­puabybtl vzce­birf.

  • Nhg­bzngvba jvyy punatr ce­bqh­pgvba naq qryvirel bs tb­bqf naq freivprf. Naq riragh­nyyl oe­vat nobhg cbfg-fp­nepvgl rpbabzvpf

  • Vs IE pen­pxf orggre pbybhe naq fb­haq gr­puabybtl (gu­vax, abg whfg PZLX ohg nyy gur bgure pbyb­hef abg ba gur YRQ fcrpgehz), jr zv­tug whfg frr IE rk­cy­bqr.

  • Zn­pu­var yrnea­vat naq fgngvfgvpf unir gur cb­jre gb punatr zrqvpvar

  • PEVFCE naq trar rqvg­vat jvyy punatr sbbq cebqhpgvba

  • Dh­naghz pbzchg­vat jvyy punatr trar rqvg­vat ol pny­phyn­g­vat gu­vatf yvxr ce­b­grva sbyq­vat va fv­tavsvp­nagyl yrff gvzr.

  • Dh­naghz pbzchg­vat (ju­vyr vg’f fgvyy abg pbafhzre tenqr) jvyy nyfb punatr fr­phevgl.

  • V jb­hyq unir fnvq 3Q ce­vagvat jb­hyq punatr ybpxfzvgu­vat ohg abj V nz abg fb fher.
    3Q ce­vagvat unf birenyy qbar n cbbe wbo bs punatvat nalgu­vat.

  • vs gur pbafgeh­pgvba vaqh­fgel pna nhg­bzngr gung jvyy punatr gur jnl jr ohvyq ub­h­f­vat.

As much as these don’t all fol­low the rule of be­ing con­sumer-grade de­vel­op­ments that might rev­olu­tion­ise the world, I’d like to en­courage oth­ers to aim for con­sumer vi­able ideas.

This mat­ters be­cause this is how you see op­por­tu­nity. This is how you find value. If you can take one thing on my list or your own list and make it hap­pen sooner, you can prob­a­bly pocket a pretty penny in the pro­cess. So what’s on your list? Do you have two min­utes to think about what’s com­ing soon?

Cross posted to less­wrong: http://​​less­​​r/​​dis­cus­sion/​​lw/​​pil/​​cut­tingedge tech­nol­ogy/​