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Science Theory Stagnation (Preface)

 ·  ☕ 10 min read

Science Theory Stagnation

Many people regard the technological explosion as a self-evident truth. If you continue to ask questions, how do you know that this is an era of technological explosion? Most people were at a loss. It was reported by the media, the teacher said, and it was seen in the book. There are various answers. A small number of people will give examples, look at how it was 100 years ago and how it is now. Very few people will cite historical cases, such as the case of the patent chief, such as the example of Bill Gates, to show that technological progress cannot be underestimated.

I once saw a “farmer hypothesis”: a farm has a group of turkeys, and the farmer feeds them at 11 o’clock every day. A scientist in the turkey observed this phenomenon and has been observing it for nearly a year without exception, so it also discovered the great law in its own universe: “Every day at 11 o’clock in the morning, food comes.” It is on Thanksgiving Day. This law was announced to the turkeys in the morning, but the food did not arrive at 11 o’clock this morning, and the farmer came in and killed them all.

The technological leap in the past 200 years has allowed humans to gradually form a paradigm of thinking: technology will continue to develop rapidly. In the past few decades, this concept has been continuously exaggerated and strengthened by the media and technological interest groups. Many people are trapped in a certain paradigm and have not considered whether this view is correct. The technological explosion is only a simple summary of the limited time, but logically, the technological explosion must not be regarded as a self-proving truth. Just look at the history before the Industrial Revolution and you will find that in human history, civilization has stagnated for much longer than the 200 years since the Industrial Revolution. Later, I will elaborate on how this concept was formed and what defects it has.

Mistakenly treat science as technology.

Science is essentially a paradigm of cognition, and the core of technology is practice.
Many netizens will cite various examples to illustrate that after 1969 , in addition to IT technology, other fields have made great progress. For example, in a debate with several PhDs in biology, they cited many new biological discoveries. But I was shocked to find that these people kept doing experiments and publishing data, but it was difficult to translate the results into reality. There are many biotech gimmicks in the news reports, such as the “starved cancer cells” to treat cancer. However, anyone who knows a little bit about mathematics and science knows that from Newton’s third law of motion to the Apollo 11 landing on the moon using this principle, there are countless technical difficulties to overcome. From the discovery of a certain biological molecular phenomenon to the use of this law to cure diseases, there is no means at all. It’s easy to publish papers in biology, but it’s super difficult for people to get jobs. This is essentially the reason. A number of big cows in biology screamed at me, but they forgot that the field of biology had misled the public for a long time, treated science as technology, and kept drawing big pie.

Similarly, many people engaged in astronomy have also committed this problem.
We will discuss this phenomenon in detail later and give a personal view of the plight of biology.

Being dazzled by IT technology.

The peculiar gimmick of IT technology is the hot pursuit of news reports, causing many human beings living in the “bit world” to forget the authenticity of the “atomic world”. At the extreme point, even if mankind achieves real-time and unlimited data interconnection, mankind cannot survive on data. Mankind still needs energy and resources. As Peter Thiel said: “Humans are not information, but flesh and blood. As a material existence, we are more important than an informational existence. Therefore, photos from all over the world are not important. How can we do it in a cheaper way? Getting there is more important; inventing cancer treatments is more important than inventing cancer diagnostic tools.”

In the past 40 years, IT is the only technological field that has made a huge leap , which has deeply affected human society. Many people are addicted to the refurbishment of mobile phones and computers. How can there be technological stagnation? At the end of the post, I will show that IT technology is not the backbone of the human science and technology tree, but a relatively large fork. Even with amazing achievements in the past 40 years, IT technology has encountered more and more problems in depth.

Confuses technological improvement and technological revolution.

In the debate, some netizens admitted that the current frontier field has stagnated, but believed that the accumulation of technology will eventually solve this problem.

It must be pointed out that quantitative changes do not necessarily lead to qualitative changes.
Technological progress in the general sense refers to the in-depth exploration of existing technologies along a technological path, or the introduction of other external technologies for extension and improvement.

For example, mobile phones, from black and white screens to blue screens, to color screens, to touch screens, are becoming more and more convenient for information communication, which is a series of typical technological improvements. The update of computer technology, from single core to dual core, from 640 K memory to 4 G memory, software version upgrade, window95 , windows 98 , xp , win7 , Shenzhou-1, Shenzhou-2…Improvement of engine materials, etc. And so on, all belong to the category of technological improvement.

The technological revolution is the result of a complete change in the technological paradigm. From the perspective of technological track, the revolution of a single technological system is essentially a jump from the development track of one technological system to the development track of another technological system. Therefore, technological revolution is a major discontinuous event in the history of technological development.

The difference between technological revolution and technological progress means the invention of an epoch-making new technology and the emergence of “fundamental innovation” that it leads to. The so-called fundamental innovation refers to the kind of technological innovation that can lead to a climax of investment and changes in the industrial structure.

When the development of power systems composed of manpower, animal power, water power, and wind power came to an end, mankind invented steam engine power, surpassing the technological level that has been before human civilization for thousands of years.

When the development of mechanical computing systems came to an end, mankind invented the electronic computer technology system and realized the revolution of computing technology.

Due to the long-term influence of domestic Marxist-Leninist education, many people are familiar with one sentence: quantitative changes lead to qualitative changes. At first glance, this sentence is reasonable and consistent with some daily life experiences. Many people use this sentence in technological progress, believing that technological progress will eventually lead to a qualitative change in technological revolution, and that human society is now in the process of technological accumulation. But in fact, this sentence is very narrow in the technical field. In many cases, qualitative changes lead to quantitative changes.

After Watt improved the steam engine , the steam engine has been improved throughout the 19th century, making it safer and more efficient. The improvement of the steam engine will lead to the improvement of a number of ancillary technologies. However, if the principle of the steam engine is always followed to heat water to generate power, such a power system has a limit, the thrust-to-weight ratio is too low, and humans will never be able to propel an airplane into the sky. It was not possible to build airplanes until the revolutionary energy converter of the internal combustion engine appeared. After the advent of the internal combustion engine, a series of technological improvements eventually led to the emergence of rockets.

Wright brothers' plane

The qualitative change in technology often refers to the technological revolution. Only by opening up a brand-new technological path can we truly promote technological progress and leap over technological steps.

Colleagues advised that it is best not to post the two sections - 1.5 and 8.3 in the third edition . After all, I still have to eat in this system, and I can’t use map guns to offend too many people. There are some simple explanations in the second edition, and those who are interested can check it out.

In addition, due to the unique vest-swiping habit of the Tianya Forum, the content will be messy. Therefore, the third edition is published on Sina Blog and Tianya at the same time, and Sina Blog shall prevail.

The full-text catalog is as follows

The full-text catalog is as follows


1 Civilization and technology

1.1 Rough talk about paradigm

1.2 The paradigm shift experienced by human civilization

1.3 Paradigm prison

1.4 The gap between science and technology

1.4.1 Nature of Science

1.4.2 The core of the technology

1.4.3 Talking from Watt: Positive feedback caused by steam engine

1.4.4 Demand is not a lifesaver

1.5 Science and Technology Interest Group

2 The paradigm spring dream advocated by scientific and technological interest groups: the so-called technological explosion

2.1 Rendering and brainwashing

2.2 Papers and patents: the absurdity behind astronomical numbers

2.3 The bit world and the real world

2.4 Part and whole

3 The shadow outside the paradigm spring dream

3.1 The technological dilemma faced by humans

    3.1.1 The stagnation of energy conversion technology

    3.1.2 The dilemma of new energy

    3.1.3 Agriculture, medical and biotechnology

    3.1.4 Troubles in the depth of information technology

    3.1.5 Other technologies

 3.2 Numerous technical gimmicks

    3.2.1 Solar / PV gimmicks that fell early

    3.2.2 The enduring artificial intelligence gimmick

    3.2.3 Amazing quantum computer gimmicks

    3.2.4 Awesome nano-material gimmick

    3.2.5 New gimmicks in recent years

 3.3 Frustration of PhD laborers and biotechnology

    3.3.1 The origin and influence of biological gimmicks

    3.3.2 Research paradigm and problems

4 The dilemma of low-entropy body and the technical steps faced

 4.1 From the second law of thermodynamics

    4.1.1 The wisdom of Tao Te Ching

    4.1.2 Negative entropy flow and the leap of civilization

 4.2 The backbone and forks of the technology tree

 4.3 Forever 50 years and controlled nuclear fusion

    4.3.1 Dream of perpetual motion machine

    4.3.2 Difficult delivery and gimmicks of controlled nuclear fusion 

 4.4 Think calmly : the future is not necessarily better

The Pit Before 5 Steps: The Fate of Human Society

5.1 The Sociological Significance of Dissipative Structure Theory

5.2 The disappearance of the big competitive environment

5.3 Differences erased by globalization and the thermodynamic balance of human society

5.4 Aging self-locking

5.5 How to fill the hole?  

The essence of 6 steps: complexity devil

6.1 What is complexity

6.2 Two rules behind the complicated world: survival of the fittest and expectation of return on capital

6.3 Technological progress and technological revolution: changes in complexity

     6.3.1 Evolution example of transportation / power system

     6.3.2 The characteristics and complexity of the technological revolution

     6.3.3  The high-complexity science devil facing

     6.3.4  Dilemma originating from technical foundation

6.4 Many evil consequences brought by high complexity ( more is different)

 6.4.1 I know you have a life and death race

 6.4.2 Maintenance costs

6.4.3 Negative feedback from society

6.5 Simple mathematical derivation

7 Silent Star implied by the prospect of terror

7.1 The Great Silence and Fermi Paradox

7.2 Three scenarios for contemplating extreme fear

7.3 The Great Sieve of the Universe

7.4 A small match

8 reflection and summary

8.1 The tragedy of Easter Island

8.2 Calmness does not mean pessimism

8.3 R&D requires a paradigm revolution

8.3.1 Starting from the central limit theorem and the law of large numbers

8.3.2 Disadvantages of the current scientific research system
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