Technology Revolutions Should Enable Ten Times the Production of the Prior Generation

There is a definition of a Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) as the age of digitalization. This is making smart cities, vastly improved factories and a lot of automation of tasks and services in our homes and at work. Industry 4.0 enables real-time data gathering, analysis, and decision- and prediction-making capabilities.

4IR technologies are artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), advanced data analytics, robotic process automation, blockchain, robotics, cloud computing, virtual and augmented reality, 3D printing and drones.

Nextbigfuture would indicate that this 4IR is just an extension of the third industrial revolution of computers and robotic automation. The adoption levels of computers and robots are too low and the impact on factory and production levels has not reached the level of improvements reached by the Ford factories and oil machinery over the steam age.

A true fourth revolution could be the development and mass adoption hyper-advanced 3D printing, improved design and production that can provide a 10X improvement in production. It could also be true molecular nanotechnology and new high-density energy generation.

An industrial revolution should accelerate economic growth over the prior generation.

The first industrial revolution boosted the GDP in the USA by 12 times and in the UK by 6 times from 1700 to 1820. The per capita GDP went up about four times.

The second industrial revolution boosted the GDP in the US by $12.5 billion to $500 billion (40 times) and in the UK by 6 times from 1820 to 1913. The third computer revolution would not start til around 1960 or 1970. The UK economy triples from 1913 to 1973 and the US goes up almost 7 times from $517 billion to $3.5 trillion.

A lot of the growth was from population increase. However, industrialization and improved agriculture and medicine enabled a higher population.

The new technologies can speed up progress on global goals to correcting poverty, hunger and other sustainable development goals (SDG).

Progress was already being made on those goals. A new analysis finds that the new technologies could help speed up deployment of solutions for about 70% of the cases.

The 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) to transform our world:
GOAL 1: No Poverty

GOAL 2: Zero Hunger

GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being

GOAL 4: Quality Education

GOAL 5: Gender Equality

GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality

GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

GOAL 13: Climate Action

GOAL 14: Life Below Water

GOAL 15: Life on Land

GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal

The world is producing fifteen times more oil and steel versus 1940. Production levels are several hundreds times more than in 1850-1880.

The 4IR is not ten times more productive than the late 20th-century third industrial revolution capabilities. Nextbigfuture would define the 4IR as generation 3B capabilities. the late 20th-century would have generation 3A capabilities. There was some adoption of industrial robotics but there is still only one robot per 20 human workers.

There are very few cities that are remotely “smart” enabled.

33 thoughts on “Technology Revolutions Should Enable Ten Times the Production of the Prior Generation”

  1. No. It’s concocted by GRADUATES of woke college courses taken by SJWs who ended up with tax-free salaries at the UN. Huge difference. You and I are paying their salaries for this garbage.

  2. People do make radioisotope generators, but always seem to pick something with a much, much shorter half-life than C14.

    Having a powersource that has a half-life the length of recorded history is just pointless, because everything else, including the rest of the electrical circuits, will have fallen apart long before then. So you are paying the price (a huge, heavy power source) for no benefit.

    Usually the materials used are something with a half-life of years to decades. Not millenia.

  3. I guess? The writeups about her make her out to be a major green celebrity in the early 90s, when I wasn’t paying any attention to such things.

    Nowdays of course: “who?”

  4. We cannot prevent an enormous escalation in automation and we should not try. Yet it will quickly cause huge numbers of jobs to become obsolete, while failing to produce enough new ones that can provide a living wage.
    The average American household in 1970 was approximately 180 times better off than the average household in 1870. The current acceleration into advanced automation may increase human wealth another two orders of magnitude in a much shorter period. If this causes untold misery and poverty it suggests the problem is not with automation, but with humans.
    With income inequality escalating, most of that increase in wealth will be devoured by a very few.
    Around 70% of Congressional campaign funds come from 80,000 households. There just happens to be 83,000 households in the U.S. (out of about 129 million of them) that have 50 million dollars or more. While I doubt this .001%, as a group, will want people to starve to death, many of them will feel they are being generous in allowing just enough taxes to prevent this grim outcome.
    A suggested cure is a Universal Basic Income (UBI). But a UBI is just a dole. Large numbers of idle people on a dole is a recipe for disaster as, inevitably, they will agitate for more.
    Expect a lot of workfare instead. Why does it sound so much like a return to feudalism?

  5. Janov’s discovery of repression gives an explanation for conspicuous consumption and many other human follies. War and such. Many threads are preparing the way for this understanding to finally be recognized. Epigenetics is the *hard* science path, once his long success in reversals of epigenetic setting is admitted to be real. Just this morning there was news mention of a weak (adult) form to explain delays in the Weinstein case charges. These delays themselves indicate childhood trauma causing further abnormal behavior. On and on. Our future depends more on understanding and stopping trauma/repression than even O’Neill, one esoteric, the other exoteric. Both vital.

  6. The goals listed here are just the headlines. There’s a lot more details that aren’t listed here.

    The 17 sustainable development goals each have a list of targets which are measured with indicators. In an effort to make the SDGs successful, data on the 17 goals has been made available in an easily-understood form. A variety of tools exist to track and visualize progress towards the goals.

  7. Let’s see if I can crunch the numbers.

    Carbon 14 decays with an energy release of 49 keV, with a half life of 5,730 years.

    So, at least to start with, the energy released = number of atoms/(2×5730) * 49 keV = 4.3 eV/atom

    = 2.6 E24 eV/mol

    =42 kJ per mol per year

    = 3 kJ/g/year

    95 microwatts per gram of carbon 14

    I’ve probably dropped a couple of powers of 10 or something, but that’s not very much. And that’s assuming 100% efficient conversion.

  8. If the world really were run by a secret cabal of billionaires, the first step would be to stop any TV shows or magazine articles about just how amazing fantastic the lifestyles of the rich truly are.

    If the impression given to the peasantry was that the captains, (and colonels and generals) of industry were living lives of say… much like a successful doctor say, but maybe a bit more so; then they wouldn’t be TOO jealous.
    If “the life of a billionaire” was depicted as “they have a maid”, “he flies first class every time” “he has a really nice set of pots and pans to cook with” and “she has a couple of new cars” then attempts to call for harsh government policies would be ignored by everyone.
    Probably a good idea to depict the 100 hour work weeks too.

    But instead, because they want to get good ratings, it’s a lifestyle depicted as a constant party with private jumbo jets and houses, and even yachts, that make Versailles look a bit downmarket and cramped.

    If there is a secret cabal of billionaires who need some advice on this matter, my consulting rates are quite reasonable. At least compared to the running costs on the private jumbo.

    Alternatively, they ARE doing this, and the reality is that the moon hasn’t been visited since 1970 because it’s covered with low gravity palaces.

  9. When do we reach peak Greta?
    Someone share the Greta scale with Rush Limbaugh so it gets the attention it deserves and becomes standard measure climate change insanity. Plz give Mr Burns credit too.

  10. This story pops up every other year.

    1cm3 diamond would generate 0.0006W everyday for ~5000 years
    0.67 cubic meters would generate 100W everyday for ~5000 years

  11. It’s not vague at all, it just requires deeper familiarity with their wider thesis.
    That report is by the World Economic Forum, they and the World Bank currently define people living in poverty as those who live on less than $1.90 a day, ~10% of the world’s population. That wouldn’t even cover half the cost of my morning coffee.

  12. Success plants the seeds of its own destruction.
    The narcissistic beneficiaries of such progress ultimately become a limiting force.
    Where is Hari Seldon when we need him most?

  13. According to your (excellent) Insanity Index, we should be reaching Peak Insanity somewhere around 04.11.2026, 14:02 UTC give or take. 17 SDGs x (Greta^Greta) if each SDG has a 180 day “idealized chart” lifecycle. After Peak Insanity comes the Valley of Reason. By then Greta will be 25, living with boyfriend and cocker spaniel in a 1BR, paying taxes from her job at the grocery store while studying for her high school equivalency at night.

  14. It’s not a bad report with charts and diagrams, yet it doesn’t have the narrow focus on goals. Like a spaghetti chart, we need to set the goal and follow it back where it gets derived from. So on energy (no simple matter!) we need to say fusion or solar energy (if this is your goal) and see what it takes to get there? Alternatively, we can invoke “Narrow AI.” and just claim that it will accelerate inventing and innovations, and watch for the machines to link different regions of knowledge together to produce real technology.

  15. Even poor people today are *rich* by ancient standards. On the other hand, we seem driven by perceptions, valid or not, of unfairness, not an absolute measure. All poor or all rich works, but unnatural or forced differences rankle.

  16. Yes, the problem with having a definition of poverty set by do gooders, like politicians, is that it is used to divide people for political gain. Bernie Sandres anyone? By definition, there will always be poor. They use the lower bound to define poverty and classify people.

  17. That list of goals is mindless parroting, and here is why. Each item adds exponent, because item ZERO should be population control. Not a problem in civilised world any more, but I see no stipulation that all those items apply to civilised world only. Africa has population growth rate of 2.5% per year – that means doubling in 28 years, or 1.25 billion new people (a new China in 30 years) with no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, and the rest. The current African solution to these problems is mass migration. Any increased material input into Africa makes more Africans that are poorer, hungrier and less well, but know exactly where to go for all those things, at least they believe they know. In summary, unless the beneficiary population is numerically fixed, any attempt of going by that list of goals is numerical insanity beyond Greta level. Actually, that may be something: the insanity metric, measured in Gretas, as exponent 1; two Gretas: exponent 2, and so on. On that scale, the proposal breaks the Greta barrier, achieving insanity of at least +0.025 Gretas per each of the first 12 goals, totalling 1.3 Gretas. I need a drink now.

  18. “The 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) to transform our world:”
    This misses the Space O’Neill concept entirely. The “world” they are talking about is the small Earth, not the actual world where we can live, which includes Space. Space also, for a long time, removes the requirement for sustainability, as it is an economy of abundance. For a long time!

  19. A lot of those goals are vague to the point of useless.

    GOAL 1: No Poverty

    What does that mean? To a 4th world refugee this means enough cheap grain to eat and a new pair of shoes once a year. To someone else it means every family gets their own room and the floor’s shared toilet actually works. To someone else it means no children have to share a bedroom and you can buy a second hand car every 10 years. To someone else it means you never have to buy second hand anything and you can afford a new iPhone whenever the models get upgraded without having to compromise on this year’s skiing holiday.

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