cantilever

We tend to think of technology as a line of continuous advancement, up and to the right.

I think of it as a series of beams stacked upon one another, cantilevering up and to the right.  It is not self-supporting; it is dependent on a base of prior art, all of which must be maintained and preserved.

The greater the level of complexity, the more difficult it is to maintain and preserve its craft and science.  For much of the 20th century, this was trivial, but it is becoming more difficult at an ever accelerating pace.

Additionally, for humans, technology has an odd way of empowering our present, while weakening our future.

There are significant benchmarks which serve to show just how strong a nation is, both culturally and materially, such as aerospace production, space programs, and nuclear power, which require powerful cultures to initiate and maintain.

When a culture begins to fail, the signs are not obvious, because it’s far easier to maintain a system than to create one.  The first sign is repeated failures to create new complex systems, masked likely behind a reduced impetus to try.

Do not let your country rely on technology past the point you can culturally sustain, internally.  Use it, with the understanding that it may become inaccessible, but do not build on it.  You must understand your foundation, and you must understand how to maintain your foundation into the future.

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