Kasparov is wrong

In this article, Kasparov claims that we’re in a period of technological stagnation. Some excerpts:

We feel that we literally have something new every month, but in fact it is progress that is proceeding from technological innovations and revolutionary inventions of the 1960s and 70s. For example, my iPod containst latest technology from 1981. In medicine there nothing similar to penicillin has been invented. If we talk about the Internet, then do not forget that the whole theoretical framework has been prepared in the 1960s in America, and the first communication session was 1969. A patent for mobile communications was registered in 1962, and the first call was made in 1973. The fact that the phones are smaller, thinner, more beautiful, does not change the fact that they are basically the same technology.

An example of real innovation was the emergence of personal computers, introduced by Apple in 1977. After that, it is hard to find innovation of this level.

Ok, first off, it’s well known that technology takes a long time to move from concept to mass production. The fact that packet-switched communications and microwave wireless were conceived long ago does not mean that we’re stagnating. It just means that we’re following the ongoing trend we’ve been following for hundreds of years.

What Kasparov doesn’t address, because it doesn’t support his argument, is what is in the labs and startups right now. And that would be:

  • Nanotechnology
  • Nano-medicine
  • Genetic sequencing and gene therapy
  • Quantum Computing
  • Safer nuclear fusion

We are building insanely tiny things with incredible, magic-like properties. We are curing diseases that used to be uncurable. We’re building computers to solve problems that used to be essentially unsolvable.

These are all dramatic new innovations that will make the future much brighter. Ignoring them because you want to have reasons to be dissatisfied with the present is just stupid.


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