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Losing Bets, still winning big

James Miller would make a bet against futurist Ray Kurzweil: "Under the bet I would give him a very small amount of money today and in return at some future agreed-upon date he would give me a 10-meter-diameter solid diamond sphere".

Arnold Kling thinks this is in error because tools have had more success than agents.

Now we get the news via Instapundit and Slashdot that, "Diamond is no longer the hardest substance known to man. Scientists have created a new material, called "aggregated diamond nanorods" by compressing carbon-60 under high heat."

Does this mean the bet would already be effectively lost, as methods to create diamond wouldn't be as common as those to create even better substances? I suppose it makes sense that engineered materials are better and eventually more common than those found in nature.

Maybe it's just an exponential increase in the attention I've paid to these matters, but it seems with the glut of recent good futurist news that we're beginning to feel the exponential nature of progress.


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