[FoRK] Take a step back...

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Sun Sep 25 21:20:49 PDT 2011


On 9/25/11 8:50 PM, Russell Turpin wrote:
> For thirty years, someone with the dollars could book a supersonic
> flight across the Atlantic.
>
> That stopped, almost a decade ago.
>
> Which would surprise most anyone in 1980, asked how commercial flight
> would proceed. The alleged S-shaped curve for technology delivered to
> the consumer proved, in this case, to be shaped more like a dromedary.
>
> Maybe it was marketing overshoot. Maybe a bit of regression due to
> exogenous constraints. And, yeah, shaving a couple of hours off
> crossing the Atlantic matters far less than the other unpleasantness
> now associated with flying.

The rise of the Internet and related technological improvements (fast computers, digital cameras, etc.) removed most of the urgency 
for getting there fast for meetings.  A technology curve for time-to-communicate + quality-to-communicate would remain mostly positive.

I wouldn't be surprised if the defense protocols in clearing a "fast mover" through international boundaries was such a pain as to 
be a significant negative cost.

SpaceX has cost per pound for orbit down to $1000.  Drop that by 1.5+ magnitudes, adding in a composite landing craft, and the 
Concorde might be surpassed.
>
> But I'm curious what there are other salient examples there are of
> "consumer technology regression."

Good question.

sdw



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