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« Weighing the Week Ahead: Fireworks in the Forecast? | Main | June Employment Report Preview »

July 04, 2012



Proteus -- Great story!

I was aware of the Wang but never got to use one.

This article might have been more effective if every reader was stripped of technology for a day and had to do things the "old way."



Curtis -- Nice analysis of the various eras and the pointer to current issues.

Thanks for joining in!



Jeff: I think that you are correct and I would like to tell you how this will all manifest. The Revolutions have been:
1. Industrial 1700's
2. Steam, railroads and steel 1800's
3. Oil: Early 1900's
4. Computers and internet: 1970's to 2000, etc.
5. Alternative and Abundant Energy: 2012 till? Fracking (they will soon be doing it without water!), solar power, natural gas power, electric and natural gas cars/trucks, high speed rail powered by alternative energy, ocean power, wind power, etc.

We are experiencing the first steps of this process now. Look at the cost of natural gas compared to oil, the cost of solar compared to 20 years ago, the coming use of wind and ocean power which is clean and endlessly cheap! The availability for the world to have cheap power will drive the world economy out of this recession/depression.

To get the economy going we need DEMAND. There is pent up demand for cheap energy for manufacturing, transportation, the chemical industries, etc. This is the next technological wave and will eventually pull us out. Curtis


Great post Jeff!

I recently stumbled upon an interesting technological improvement in textile industry. You can check it out here:

I think that's one good example of what you are trying to say here.


You didn't get to use a Wang calculator (mid to late 1960's)? Our high school bought one around 1967, $4000 as I recall, and I was in absolute heaven. A big monstrosity, but it had sines and logs.

The last time I used a slide rule for real was in 1996. The two engineers I was working with had calculators that died, so a technician jokingly pulled out a slide rule. I was the only person that knew how to use it, so the morning was spent in giving slide rule lessons. Lots of fun.

Hard to believe we ever accomplished anything without computers, but we did.

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