Tim SPRACKLEN said:Don't be so pessimistic. That's the whole point my teacher was trying to make; it's when we doubt our ability to solve the problems that we start getting into trouble. Life is better now than it was at any time in the past. When I was a kid I knew several kids who had polio and who caught diphtheria - who worries about that now? When was the last time you thought about catching a fatal disease? Probably not for quite a time.
When I was a kid too there was a very real danger of nuclear war - but who worries about that now?
Things are better now than they have ever been and they will continue to get better - believe it and don't have any doubt in our ability.
To me it's the electronics revolution that is powering the future. I tell my students that (not quite, but nearly) we can put an almost infinite amount of computational capacity onto a silicon chip, it will consume almost zero power and we can make it for nearly nothing.
So if I give my students a signal processing problem I say to them - don't tell me the technology can't do it, if you tell me you can't do it it's your problem not that of the technology. I can't think of another branch of engineering where you can say that. If I asked you to build a bridge across the Atlantic Ocean you'd quite rightly tell me that it was impossible - technically impossible. But you give me any signal processing problem, any communications problem - if I'm forced to admit defeat it's my limited intellectual capacity that's the issue, not the technology. Basically we can achieve anything we want.
You make valid points Tim, and we could hear of an physics breakthrough tomorrow that enables mankind to escape the confines of his Solar System. It contravenes the present paradigm, but who says that it could not happen? As far as technology is concerned, of course computers will get faster, smaller more powerful. My argument is based on what we know now, the mathematical formulae that dictate or current situation.
As I said before, I hope more and more confines are proved to be overcome, more exploration does take place, and that ultimately, the human race ventures far beyond this tiny portion of infinity.
Call it a draw?
Sent from my iPad using iPF