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Darren Piggott

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Have capitalism, globalisation and greed stunted our technological growth?

I have often wondered if oil is the reason we are not driving around in hover cars or more cars running on alternative fuels, any car that could hover with precision, accuracy and long periods would probably not use a combustion engine, take also tires cars with the technology to hover would not require rubber tires.

I have no doubt we could have acheived these technologies years ago, but oil and rubber tires are extremely lucrative and make the few very rich, imagine a world of hover cars that are completely automated you wouldn't need to pay road tax they don' t need roads and car insurance would be drastically lower granted it may still be needed just incase!, but our whole society seems centred around a system of wealth and power to which only a few are privy, we seem to have spent the last sixty or so years continually reinventing the car, television and video in one form or another, because these few simple technologies keep us in a perpetual state of consumerism, not to mention our computing abilities which have managed to keep most of the western society in a state of wage slavery.

Our monetary system can only take the human race so far, but to get past our current statewe may need an overhaul of everything we know, not just our monetary system but our politics and our moral compass?

This is just a small example of how we could have expanded our technology over the last sixty years i'm sure there are many more.

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  • Apr 17 2012: I agree Capitalism did in the start promote innovation, as technology is one of the reasons captitalism is profitable, and i don't disagree that if you have 10 million $$$ you should be obliged to hand it to someone who says they have an idea but i'm sure starting off with 10 million you'd be pretty eager but what would you be like if you turn that 10 million into a billion $$ industry it seems the attention switches from being eager to fear, fear you'll lose your money, your empire and then the capitalists start pouring their money into preventing those who could challenge thier dominance.

    Look at the legal action about start in the US Oracle versus Google, everybody is suing everyone trying to protect what they beleive is thiers and thiers alone, apple is also looking to pick a fight with android, microsoft has also spent hundreds of millions suing samsung over intellectual property rights.

    There are more of these cases, they've turned into gollem protecting the precious ring.

    But the worst thing is that all of this action is anti innovative, even some guys who don't make anything but buy patents known as patent trolls have been getting in on all this anti competetive practice mostly targeting individuals who try to innovate.

    I think all this should be stoppped people don't buy something because it creates folders in a certain way they choose it for many reasons, like price, features and looks. If you can't make a product that people will buy then that's just competition and if it worked like that manufacturers would be more innovative and competetive, and so caould individuals who try to create innovative additions to our technologies.
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      Apr 17 2012: I totally agree with you.
      Many do believe that patent, particularly patent of living organism and genes (which is not any novel "discovery" per se, but mere finding out the sequence of an existing genome) hampered growth of science/biology.

      Many big companies now make good money by killing smaller companies by suing them in some pretext or other over IP issues. On the other hand many companies just buy patents which has a higher probability for others to break, and hold onto it (holding company). IN last few years, such activity is very lucrative. The tendency is increasing as innovation/invention is slowing down (mainly due to dysfunction education & research systems to make "scientist") and percolation of technology has increased due to higher mobility of experts/people and better communication technology.
      As per published articles, a good number of influential and big companies are blocking meaningful reform of patent and IP laws in US and Europe.
      And as the greed or the urge to "grow" increases, so does IP related litigation among big fishes. It is almost impossible to develop a new car without infringing patents held by so many companies for wheel, tire, window, paint and so on... if not collaborated or agreed upon by the holding company. If the new car venture is perceived as potential threat, any of these companies can shoot down your whole project. That is not impossible but becoming even harder for smaller entrepreneurs and individual inventors.

      Check this article- "Are there now so many patents in Silicon Valley that it's impossible to innovate?"- http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/features/are-there-now-so-many-patents-in-silicon-valley-that-its-impossible-to-innovate-2336171.html

      There are only 20,000 to 25,000 genes in a typical higher organism- e.g in human. Number of Cancer researcher in US alone probably will be more than that. After sometime it will be almost impossible to even start working with any gene!!!
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      Apr 17 2012: "Look at the legal action about start in the US Oracle versus Google, everybody is suing everyone trying to protect what they beleive is thiers and thiers alone, apple is also looking to pick a fight with android, microsoft has also spent hundreds of millions suing samsung over intellectual property rights."

      this is a great argument against intellectual property rights. btw that was my point from the beginning. you can not stop your competition with money. in a pure free market economy, if your competitor plans something, your only option is to come up with something better. in a free market economy, there is no intellectual property. intellectual property is a state intervention.

      so we have a large coercive organization, namely the state, that arbitrarily shuts down certain operations, taxes others, and hands out money to yet others. surely, companies try to influence the government in their favor. they try to buy the state's services. but the real problem is not that. the real problem is that the state does such things in the first place.
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        Apr 17 2012: "you can not stop your competition with money. in a pure free market economy".

        They already killed many smaller companies. Only the matching few are remaining and they are more aggressive to protect their territories.
        It is proven fact that consolidation of corporation or business reduces both competition and innovation. Consolidation of companies are at the pick in recent times- more so after 2008 financial melt down.
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          Apr 17 2012: no kidding. only the able remaining? that is the goal! if you can deliver, you grow. if you don't, you shrink. eliminating the wasteful, the inefficient, the obsolete is exactly what we want.

          but since when we call something wasteful, inefficient or obsolete and "idea"? for me, idea is something that is better than the current.
      • Apr 17 2012: For me the worst thing besides the way the state is so easily bought, is the fact it's quite obvious these big companies have too much money, when the best way they can come up with to use those resources is to spent rediculous amounts of money suing each other.

        The best for me was when microsoft settled with Samsung who agreed to pay MS a licence fee for each android phone they make and the next thing MS and Samsung where signing a deal for Samsung to make MS phones!!??

        It's obviously just a power game to them and it hurts them none, but when you consider those dying of starvation, those who struggle with constant poverty, i'm really surprised the capitalists haven't considered developing poor countries as potential markets for their products, because the bigger the market the bigger the production industry would be this in turn could generate industry in poorer countries, and larger markets for the likes of MS, Samsung, Apple and many other global companies.

        Already nations are sending officials to the likes of China and Indonesia because they have managed to clamber up the ladder but no one ever really bother to try pull them up the ladder and maybe it wasn't the wests job to pull these countries up but it would have been a lot quicker. Now the likes of Apple, MS and google and many other global giants are probably slobbering at the opportunity to have a billion or more new potential customers?
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          Apr 17 2012: "suing" is also a way to ask to the state to act on your behalf. if have a stupid system of law, and a stupid court, of course companies will sue each other. it is not their fault. it is the fault of the stupid legislation.
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        Apr 17 2012: I am now really curious to visit Hungary, where you live!

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