Bastiat wrote: ↑
Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:52 pm
nisiprius wrote: ↑
Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:04 pm
Leo Szilard and Enrico Fermi patented the nuclear reactor in 1934. How many years did it take from patent to real-world application? The nuclear submarine Nautilus
sailed in 1955; the first electrical power was generated from the Shippingport reactor in 1957. So, a bit more than twenty years.
To be fair, there is more computing power in a single Samsung Galaxy S6 than existed in the entire world back then.
The IBM 704, the flagship supercomputer in 1954 (of which fewer than 200 were sold), operated at 12,000 FLOPS.
An S6 operates at 34,800,000,000 FLOPS.
That technology will advance at a similar rate as the past is not likely a valid assumption.
The advances in computing power are not the rule for new technologies. More the exception. Not sure which way you are arguing this?
Look at how long liquid oil has been the major energy source of our civilization. At least 110 years. I more or less date it from Winston Churchill, then First Sea Lord (ie in the UK Cabinet), endorsing the switch from coal to oil for fueling the Royal Navy-- of course for motor cars and aeroplanes it has been longer. Biomass for cooking and heating (wood, animal dung etc.) is still a major source of energy -- 20k years in.
The great success story of the last 60 years or so has been the rise of natural gas-- at the expense of oil for power generation, and coal for home heating and then power generation. And it's taken natural gas since 1945 to become a meaningful fraction of our total energy supply (somewhere around 20% from memory). Nuclear power got to 8% of world electricity supply (16% of US) in about 40 years (1950s to 1990s).
The motor car now and the motor car in 1950 are pretty similar beasts in engine, basic transmission, body etc. Despite the many technological changes they have undergone, a driver of a 1950 Chevy could drive a 2018 one, and a mechanic would recognize the key components of the engine.
Jet engines were tested in the late 1930s, but not mass used in airliners until the late 1950s. That's the impact of the World War, directly accelerating the development of certain technologies.
You can trace similar adoption curves for refrigeration, telephones, electric lighting v. gas etc.
The conclusion is it takes a *long* time for a new technology to get fully adopted.