The Slow Pace of Technological Progress (Guest Post by Billy Jackson)

The following post has been submitted by Billy Jackson

The Slow Pace of Technological Progress

“When the Wright Brothers first began seriously thinking about the challenge of manned flight, their only goal was the notoriety that would come from being the first ones to solve the problem.  Soon, they came to realize that flying held a commercial promise as well.  In March of 1903, prior to adding propulsion to their machine, the brothers applied for a United States patent to cover the 1902 glider design. That patent, would not be granted until 1906.  Not wanting to publicly demonstrate their flying machine, for fear of being copied by others, the brothers knew that without practical demonstrations and widespread publicity, any thought of commercial sales would be impossible.  Many potential buyers, upon hearing stories about a manned flying machine, simply did not believe the claims as real.” (Gary Palamara)

The Wright Brothers story has a uncanny resemblance to the story of Andrea Rossi and the E-cat. Simple bicycle shop repairmen were not scientists. Their findings, their stories, and their claim was seen at best as laughable. Despite demonstrations, accredited attestations, and repeated reports of success, they faced continued resistance of acceptance by the skeptical who knew powered flight was impossible.

The Phone, the Radio, the Automobile, the Airplane. Placing your cellphone in your pocket, sitting at home watching TV, driving down the road listening to the radio, or quietly watching an on-board movie aboard a 747, These are things we take for granted without thought. These technologies have existed in our lives since most of us were born. Yet once this was not always so.

Apple just recently announced that it sold over 10 million of its latest iPhones in just its opening weekend. You may be shocked to know that it took 75 years for the first phones to reach 50 million users. It took the Radio 38 years to reach the same point. Television took 13 years. The automobile, invented in the 1870’s,had only reached about 8000 operational vehicles in the early 1900’s. It was not until Henry Fords application of the assembly line that automobiles reached 2 million users by 1915 — a process that took nearly 45 years to reach even a very small user base. Its adoption rate, while popular, was slow — yet continued to grow. It was in 1956, when President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Interstate Highway Act and creating more than 42,500 miles of highway across the nation that the automobile became the main source of transportation for the general population in the United States.

The Third Part Report on the E-cat released October 8th 2014 has come and gone. It has both answered some questions and brought with it more. Unarguably it has concluded as a successful test. Only the most ardent of skeptics who are sticking to stories of collusion and incompetence remain in dispute over the findings. I personally find the attacks on the testers, scientists and professionals in their fields to be detestable, yet we must reluctantly agree that the skeptical bring at least a few points that deserve honest recognition.

1. Rossi must not be near or attached to any test to prevent the tainted accusation of tampering.

2. A 2nd team of separate scientists for a T.I.P. Report unconnected with the first party to compare results and remove accusations of collusion.

3. Professional management of the project. To document, lead, supervise and prepare all steps of a conclusive report to eliminate gaps or holes left unaddressed by the T.I.P.

* (personal request) I personally would like to see one known, yet honest skeptic on the team report his or her findings at the conclusion of said test.

True world changing technologies come about rarely. They are adopted even slower. Do not be discouraged at the pace of progress, it is inevitable, for even the mightiest dam can seem indomitable until you hear the sound of cracking concrete.

Thank you,

Billy Jackson

http://www.garypalamara.com/Articles_USAFM%20Wright%2002.htm
http://www.un.org/cyberschoolbus/briefing/technology/tech.pdf
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/cars-dominant-form-transportation2.htm

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