Wednesday, July 24, 2019

We have past our peak

Everyone celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, leaving many to wonder if we will ever do anything so great again. It is like the Egyptian pyramids -- a symbol of a once-great civilization.

Bruce Charlton claims:
I suspect that human capability reached its peak or plateau around 1965-75 – at the time of the Apollo moon landings – and has been declining ever since.
The Woodley effect claims that intelligence has been declining for a century.

Another guy claims science is dead:
Briefly, the argument of this book is that real science is dead, and the main reason is that professional researchers are not even trying to seek the truth and speak the truth; and the reason for this is that professional ‘scientists’ no longer believe in the truth - no longer believe that there is an eternal unchanging reality beyond human wishes and organization which they have a duty to seek and proclaim to the best of their (naturally limited) abilities. Hence the vast structures of personnel and resources that constitute modern ‘science’ are not real science but instead merely a professional research bureaucracy, thus fake or pseudo-science; regulated by peer review (that is, committee opinion) rather than the search-for and service-to reality. Among the consequences are that modern publications in the research literature must be assumed to be worthless or misleading and should always be ignored. In practice, this means that nearly all ‘science’ needs to be demolished (or allowed to collapse) and real science carefully rebuilt outside the professional research structure, from the ground up, by real scientists who regard truth-seeking as an imperative and truthfulness as an iron law.


  1. The Chinese might say to that, "speak for yourself". Their social system is already a different world from that of the West, perhaps even deplorably alien, but it is ambitious in parts, particularly as regards space.
    One has this recent click fodder poll:

    1. Space is bullshit! You only have to look at the relativistic rocket equation. Even hypothetical fusion exhaust velocity won't get you very far. It's just a jobs project.

  2. @Peter,

    Ambitious is a kind word for totalitarian cruelty a la 1984. The Chinese 'social system' as you call it is utterly dependent upon the western world's stupidity in outsourcing most of its industry for the benefit of a precious select few at the expense of almost everybody else in the west. China has also applied the modern innovation we use for increased convenience largely to suppress and micro manage their citizens like never before.

    As to children not wishing to be astronauts, this is a good Becoming an astronaut is an over all terrible career choice.

    1.) You have a better chance of becoming a professional athlete than an astronaut as there are far more positions available that pay far better with much less risk.

    2.) Astronauts are mostly an extremely expensive political statement/gimmick and have very little actual scientific benefit outside of public relations for getting more funding. You would get FAR more done with much less money and resources using robotic probes which do not have such little trifling troubles like running out of air, running out of food, g-sickness, inefficient launch accelerations to prevent squishing the astronaut, radiation poisoning, explosive decompression, low bone density, boredom and the ensuing psychological meltdowns, etc. Face it, humans are not well designed for space travel without a sustaining planet beneath them.

    3. America presently has no manned space program to be an astronaut in to speak of, only a legacy space agency which spends lots of money on being politically woke and utterly inept at putting humans in space except in CGI fantasies.

  3. There are certainly some findings in medicine and A.I. left but we have an embarrassing number of STEM graduates compared to the past. They have discovered much less than only a few hundred in history! Furthermore, few inventors were scientists or academics.

    "If you were to put an Italian peasant from 1300 in a time machine and drop him in 1870s Tuscany he wouldn’t notice much of a difference. Historians estimate that the average annual income in Italy around the year 1300 was roughly $1,600. Some 600 years later – after Columbus, Galileo, Newton, the scientific revolution, the Reformation and the Enlightenment, the invention of gunpowder, printing, and the steam engine – it was… still $1,600. Six hundred years of civilization, and the average Italian was pretty much where he’d always been. It was not until about 1880, right around the time Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, Thomas Edison patented his lightbulb, Carl Benz was tinkering with his first car, and Josephine Cochrane was ruminating on what may just be the most brilliant idea ever – the dishwasher – that our Italian peasant got swept up in the march of progress."

    See the figures presented by the historians Angus Maddison, J. Bolt, and J.L. van Zanden, “The First Update of the Maddison Project; Re-Estimating Growth Before 1820,” Maddison Project Working Paper 4 (2013).

  4. @MD Cory,
    And the airplane was invented by a couple of bicycle mechanics who didn't know as much as academics who said heaver than air travel wasn't possible. Thank goodness for their ignorance of the experts.

    If you want creativity, don't look where it isn't, the pedigreed establishment. Those in high places are far more effective with convincing others they are brilliant than with actually accomplishing anything with their talent. Mutual admiration societies aren't known for being productive, just expensive.