October 16th, 2018

Governments have stagnated progress


By Letter to the Editor on June 13, 2018.

When we look at progress in the world, we must ask ourselves, “What have we done in the last 100 years?”

Unfortunately, the answer to that question is a big fat “not much.” The big reason is that we are a capitalist society and nothing gets a chance unless it makes somebody a profit, or gets squashed if it would make someone else a profit. Likewise in the communistic society as we have seen in Russia and in China. Society becomes stagnant and complacent. No chance for change.

There was a jump in development in the First and Second World Wars. New killing machines were developed to annihilate soldiers in the first war, along with advances in aircraft, which would not have had a commercial significance without the war. During the Second World War there were more advances in aircraft with jet engines and rockets and bigger bombers to obliterate cities and kill people. Since the wars, there have been no new inventions of significance.

In the medical field, we have seen advances, but no radical new methods of getting our bodies to heal themselves. Mostly we still rely on the “cut off the disease and pray it has not spread” method.

In our technology, a car or truck is still a wagon, with four wheels, The horse or oxen has been replaced by a reciprocating engine invented over 100 years ago, but the basic patent hasn’t changed. The airplane still has wings and some form of carbon-fuelled engine to push it through the air, but there is no change from the method of the Wright brothers or the glider that Otto Lilienthal flew down the hill.

All this stagnation is because governments around the world are not concerned with the benefits to mankind. They are tied up in the money and economics of world trade and world economic domination. We need to educate the children so they can think outside the box.

Just because Newton formulated gravity, does that mean we cannot overcome it without other ideas? Magnets can hover. Can a computer be connected to our body’s motor functions and make cells heal the diseases? Can we connect to the muscle functions of paralytics to enable their brain to tell their limbs to function? Can we travel in outer space in ships that function without rockets (which many believe are being held secret by some governments for selfish reasons)?

Walter Kerber

Lethbridge

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8 Responses to “Governments have stagnated progress”

  1. grinandbearit says:

    No advances in last 100 years except killing machines?
    How about
    1. Discovery that the universe exists through vast space and billions of galaxies beyond our Milky Way galaxy
    2. Discovery of the history of the universe back to the first fraction of a second
    3. Quantum mechanics
    4. Einstein’s relativity
    5. DNA and sequencing of genomes
    6. Computers
    7. World wide web
    8. Vaccines
    9. 100 years ago average life span was about 50 years
    10. Antibiotics
    11. Organ transplants
    12. Humans traveled to the moon and sent probes through the entire solar system
    13. Artificial limbs and joints
    14. Stem cells
    15. insulin
    and so on…
    Perk up Walter.

    • LGLee says:

      I understand what he’s getting at, though. Quite a few of the advancements are really just refinements of existing technologies. I understand there is more research going on than ever before, but I have a hard time pinpointing a single technology that is truly revolutionary to the point of a radical transformation of society. However I’m certain I’m missing the implications of a technology that already exists; it’s the bane of all futurists and speculative authors.

      I’ve often thought about a plot for a novel in which society a thousand years in the future is exactly as it is today, nothing significant has happened and the same old problems still plague us. I have a theory I call the Biological Limitations Theory, stated simply as: “A society can only evolve to the point where blindness to its collective physical and intellectual limitations prevents further development. At that point development can only occur through external intervention.” Assuming the laws of physics as we presently understand them preclude the human race from expanding outside of our present solar system (Einstein’s Theory of Relativity), thus denying us contact with an exterior influence, we may well come to a wall we can’t bootstrap ourselves over. I believe there is ample evidence in the existing science to substantiate my premise.

      So, then, the question becomes: Have we as a society reached our physical and mental limitations, a kind of racial Peter Principle? I’m confident the answer is still “no,” but I’m concerned about diminishing returns. The fact that I, of all people, can still see a potential problem makes me optimistic; however I’ve been waiting for my flying car since my teens, and I’m well past my best before date.

  2. biff says:

    i also understand what the writer is saying. we are still quite primitive relative to real potential. our advances have hardly lifted us beyond the trappings of our collective ignorance with regard to medicine/healing, travel/harnessing of real energy, and overall enlightenment. we are likely stunted by two general themes: our choice of economy/greed, and ignorance/insecurity/trust issues. the sowing of the latter creates a jackpot of profit that most feeds the .1% at the top of our greed rewarded economic pyramid, as the war machine takes money from the public purse and places it firmly in the hands of that top point-one-percent.

  3. johnny57 says:

    You are out to lunch on this one Walter!.The progress made in different disciplines is mind boggling. For example the “James Web Telescope” that is now scheduled to make it to space in 2020 will be able to filter out light from stars that have planets orbiting them and the ones that transit their star will be able to have the light that passes through their atmosphere analyzed for signatures of the building blocks of life as we know it.They predict within 10-20 years they will be able to find life on other planets. Speaking of planets i am not sure which one you are from… but if earth, you might want to do some research.

    • biff says:

      i believe the deeper point of reflection in the letter is that we are still impoverished – intellectually and spiritually – relative to our real potential, due to gov’ts that really only push the corporate agenda: “All this stagnation is because governments around the world are not concerned with the benefits to mankind. They are tied up in the money and economics of world trade and world economic domination. We need to educate the children so they can think outside the box.” yes, we have all kinds of new technologies and gadgets…and we still revere wealth and fame. collectively, we remain about as developed as 12/13 year olds. does not make us any more mature or enlightened because we can use a smartphone 20 hours a day.

  4. phlushie says:

    biff, somehow I think you understand very well where we are. If it is economic to develop further there is no point, only self improvement. But this is curtailed because no one can meke money from it. A modern catch 22.

  5. Fescue says:

    Interesting comments. Does the fact that we can use technologies to see further and deeper into nature mean that we are progressing, that life is more meaningful?

    I am reminded of E.O. Wilson’s comment: the problem is that we have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and god-like technology.

    • biff says:

      thank you phlush for the catch 22 observation, and fes, great quote. we are, hopefully, waking up as a collective, but as is the issue of so many teens, we may be a while longer sleeping in.


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