|Lecture handout: Stagnation*
I provided some pessimistic views on transformative breakthroughs. But every now and then I notice the power of steady, incremental progress. For example:
40 years of improved precision engineering and execution speed pic.twitter.com/pDLGbeeqAN
— Roberto Alonso González Lezcano (@robertoglezcano) February 2, 2020
In December 2020 Tyler Cowen provided a list of new technologies that may mark the end of the great stagnation. He included:
- Apple’s M1, GPT-3
- DeepMind’s application of AI to protein folding
- phase III for a credible malaria vaccine
- a CRISPR/sickle cell cure
- the possibility of a universal flu vaccine
- mRNA vaccines
- ongoing solar power progress
- new batteries for electric vehicles
- a possibly new method for Chinese fusion
Extra reading: Dourado, Eli, “Notes on technology in the 2020s“, December 31st 2020
For more on Permissionless Innovation
A good, uplifting account of how creativity can result from not asking permission:
The importance of ideas:
- Additional reading: Cowen, Tyler “Ten Ways to Live a Less Complacent Life”, LinkedIn, May 2017
This page ties into Chapter 12 of Economics: A Complete Guide for Business
|Learning Objectives: Understand the debate around secular stagnation.
Cutting edge theory: A survey of potentially transformative breakthrough technologies.
Focus on diversity: Virginia Postrel’s book, The Future and it’s Enemies, encapsulates the distinctions made at the end of the lecture.