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Top Ten Technologies that Must Die

  1. Oct 1, 2003 #1
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 1, 2003 #2


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    But he does raise an interesting question - why is it that some technologies live on, and on, and on, and others die?

    For the majority (the overwhelming majority?), the answer surely is "economics". Of course, it's entirely possible, at great cost, to extend the life of an uneconomic technology (government subsidies are a favourite, but not the only, tool).

    It would seem few technologies exit for ethical or moral reasons.
  4. Oct 1, 2003 #3
    How about floppy disks/drives? I mean, cmon- what use is it nowadays with networking and drive technology? If you can't email something, you can zip disk it. This is one technology which has definitely overstayed it's welcome
  5. Oct 1, 2003 #4
    Well, the problem with that is institutions that feel Floppies can be better controlled than email (for viruses, etc.) Plus, CD-Rs are still rather expensive and difficult to use.
  6. Oct 2, 2003 #5


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    I don't get it either.

    There are some things there which I agree with; Land Mines and nuclear weapons, for example. However, there are a bunch of technologies listed which are needed and used everyday which he claims need to be gotten rid of without offering a suitable replacement.

    DVD's? What would he suggest we replace them with? Seriously. Go back to VHS? Tapes are obsolete for a _reason_.

    Prisons? I don't even understand what he's rambling about airports for here. Is he honestly suggesting that we allow mass murderers out to walk around in the general population? Sure, they may not get very far with home arrest collars, but it only takes a few seconds to commit a murder. There aren't enough cops in the world to monitor dangerous criminals if they are strewn all over the country. They are brought to a single place for a _reason_.

    Incandescent bulbs? You couldn't pay me enough to put flourescents in my house. I can barely stand the one in my kitchen!
  7. Oct 2, 2003 #6


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    I disagree with less than you, but still - it looks like he just plain doesn't like technology in general. For example, I don't think he's figured out how NOT to ruin a DVD. I've got 75 of them, some 3+ years old, and not one that has a read problem. The Matrix was my first DVD, I got it the day it came out, and watched the lobby scene every day for about two months after class.
  8. Oct 2, 2003 #7
    Actually, I incredibly agree with this one. They're so wasteful, but really, until we have a better option, there's just no doing it.

    And, truthfully, flourescents are quite wasteful as well, simply because no one knows how to use them right. People don't realise it's more efficient to leave the things on for 5 hours then turn them on and off 5 times.
  9. Oct 2, 2003 #8
    I need floppies for boot up disks though! Until they produce a CD drive in which you can put a CD into it while the computers is shutdown I'm sticking with my floppies. Although CD-RW are now very popular they aren't nearly as popular as floppy drives. Floppy drives are nearly standard on computers now, which makes it easier to distribute floppy disks and let the recipient write data on to them.
  10. Oct 3, 2003 #9
    Indeed the guy is weird.
    I also agree that floppy disks/drives are most idiotic thing of 21st century to drag along. We have 64M usb memory sticks for same money 1M floppy costed few years back.

    Light bulbs, they will get replaced by LEDs. Flourescents are crap in comparison.
  11. Oct 4, 2003 #10
    I agree with landmines and nuclear weapons but prisons?

    I would like for a lot of violent criminals to move into his neighborhood. Let's see if he really wants prisons to "die"...
  12. Oct 4, 2003 #11
    Oh, and I still use hard disks. They're convenient and easy to carry around (just stick them in your breastpocket).

    Not only that, but I have 100+ of them in my office. I want to use them before they go obsolete. :smile:
  13. Oct 4, 2003 #12


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    Hehe, those are floppy disks. A hard disk is something you don't often remove from your computer.

    Back when the 5.25" floppy was replaced by the 3.5" floppy, a lot of people thought since the case was harder on the 3.5" that it was a "hard disk." Nope. The disk itself is still floppy.

    Its been a while since I heard someone call a floppy hard.
  14. Oct 4, 2003 #13
    The guys a science fiction writer, trying to write Science fraction?
    But I agree with the "No Nuke'm All" policy, AKA lets get rid of what we really just do not need anymore.....
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2003
  15. Oct 4, 2003 #14
    A technology can "die," then be resurrected. Take passive solar for instance.
  16. Oct 4, 2003 #15
    This guy is living in his own science fiction universe:

    Nuclear Weapons -- Nobody likes them. The thought of universal destruction is scary, but is it realistic to get rid of them? How could it be done either than magic ensuring there is no incentive for others with sinister motives from building them.

    Even if we could get rid of them, would we want to? Wars are messy business whether they be conventional or nuclear. The absence of nuclear weapons makes conventional warfare much more attractive. It is always easier to make that sacrifice knowing you can actually stand a chance to win. I'd go so far as to say World War III between the West and the Soviets was prevented by the risk imposed by nuclear warfare.

    As far as terrorists, these are farfetched scenarios. The stockpile of the US is very well guarded. Although I cannot say the same for others, this does not mean that nations who can protect them should not have them. Efforts to secure these things need to be stepped up sure, but destruction is unrealistic.

    Coal -- This should be reduced. But done in moderation, the planet has resources to recover from any damage. It is a perfect source of energy for low income areas, but like everything it should have its limits which are far lower than the status quo.

    Internal Comubustion -- Before we go and replace these we need to make sure that a hydrogen economy does not destroy the o-zone layer. Let's not be too premature with this one.

    Incandescent Lightbulbs -- These should probably be phased out as there are superior technologies available that are more efficient and environmentally friendly.

    Land Mines -- In the wake of modern warfare these have far less utility. I would not like to see them used except in the most desperate cases. Perhaps we could find ways to automatically deactivate these things through a coded radio signal.

    Manned Spaceflight -- Until we have all out artificial intelligence, there remain things that humans can do that machines cannot, namely handle the unexpected. There are places for humans and for machines. However, eventually if we hope to ensure our survival, manned spaceflight is the only way to do it.

    Prisons -- Getting rid of these is ultimately unworkable. We can fantasize about advanced technological ways of keeping criminals safe from people, but they are just fiction for now.

    Cosmetic Implants -- The technologies mentioned in this section such as growing skin en-masse do not yet exist. Removing conventional ones now is silly.

    Lie Detectors -- They are not 100% reliable but they are one method of trying to find the truth. The author suggests newer magic technologies and then says the Orwellian social intrusion. They have their place, but should not be a total arbiter of truth.

    DVDs -- And the alternative is? There is no perfect information storage medium.
  17. Oct 4, 2003 #16
    Yeppers. And what was I smoking?

    I meant to say "floppy" and "hard" came out.

    For someone who knows very little about computers, I'm glad I know that one.

    I've dismantled so many floppies so I'm aware of the floppy-nature.
  18. Oct 5, 2003 #17
    Back while I was still living in Calgary I read a newspaper report on the latest in Coal technologies, and they have come down to the point, in the ability to process the stuff, for energy, that, the only emission(s) are the remnent (solid) carbons, (ash I think) nothing more, no gases, no fumes, no dangerous pollutants (to any degree) and what is left is eminently reprocessable back into natures systems.
    So this guy is, simply, technologically behind the times.
  19. Oct 5, 2003 #18
    It depends on the type of coal. "Hard" coal has quite a few more products.

    And the technology is there, but it's not widely used. All companies have to do is make the standards, not above them.
  20. Oct 5, 2003 #19
    What I read was about the final testing, (Five years worth) of the process of extracting the energy, without pollutants. It is the most recent of technologies, in coal use, and does not yet have any (TBOMK) widespread use.
    Sulphurus coal was once a problem, don't know if this takes care of that kind of coal's problems.
  21. Oct 5, 2003 #20
    Try extracting the many billion barrels of shale oil as well.
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