Re: What's going on this decade?

From: kevin.osborne (kevin.osborne@gmail.com)
Date: Sat Aug 12 2006 - 17:48:42 MDT


> I ask, before this thread gets sniped, for some comments from people
> to specifically point out interesting new scientific techniques of
> this decade.

'scientific techniques' seems either too narrow (empiricism seems to
cover plenty) or too general (yellow lab coats instead of white), but
looking at your original post, in terms of AI/comp/math/sci, I think
you may well be right; there doesn't seem too be much of the entirely
new, groundbreaking approaches that have been seen in previous
decades.

it may be that in the era of the 'mashup', science is converging in
much the same way tech & culture are. it may be that we're now getting
close to the 'nothing new under the sun' position that, say,
relationship therapists find themselves in.

there's no more elements to encounter, particles to be discovered,
superior imaging techniques to be developed; maybe it's time to face
up to the fact that all nano-tech, robotics and genetic-therapies do
is build better mousetraps.

and so now the hard work really begins. we can't rely on the myopia of
our forebears any longer and have to do the donkey work of taking the
discoveries of the past and making them *work*, as opposed to maybe
just making them peer-reviewable in an academic paper or
sensible-sounding enough to suspend belief in a sci-fi novel.

it's much less glamourous work, and kudos to those who are breaking
their backs (and cortexes) getting the heavy lifting done now that the
wild-west 'cowboy' stage of modern science may well be over with;
Messrs Goetrzel & Yudkowsky seem to be great examples on this list of
folks who are walking the hard road required in order to get tangible
real-world results instead of just waving a wishing wand.

FWIW, here's some of the links that I've bookmarked over the last year
or so that said enough to me at the time to be tagged 'science' and
'futurism':

http://www.newscientistspace.com/article/mg18925331.200-take-a-leap-into-hyperspace.html
http://www.news.uiuc.edu/news/05/1215silicon.html
http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0510010
http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=143&art_id=vn20060211110132138C184427
http://www.livescience.com/technology/060308_sandia_z.html
http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa002&articleID=00033D41-7354-1372-B35483414B7F0000
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/releases/2000/chandlerwobble.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4862112.stm
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/GSP/SEM0L6OVGJE_0.html
http://www.livescience.com/technology/060330_frictionless_spinning.html
http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2006/drennan-chemistry.html
http://www.newscientistspace.com/article.ns?id=dn9620
http://www-astro.mps.ohio-state.edu/~ognedin/hvs_newscientist.txt
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn6092.html
http://news-info.wustl.edu/tips/page/normal/6845.html



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