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alexflint comments on For progress to be by accumulation and not by random walk, read great books - Less Wrong

35 Post author: MichaelVassar 02 March 2010 08:11AM

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Comment author: alexflint 03 March 2010 09:14:16AM 3 points [-]

Outside of physics, the evidence for progress is far weaker.

The economic growth of the last few decades suggests that some people, somewhere, are gradually getting more things right more often. Those genomes aren't sequencing themselves. Or have I misunderstood you?

Comment author: MichaelVassar 03 March 2010 05:28:01PM 3 points [-]

Specific technologies arise and fall. Capital accumulates and depreciates. Governments make up numbers. Physics touches everything, especially through solid state and semiconductor physics in recent years. Finally, as the post emphasized, ideas are a sort of capital, and accumulate over time, even if new ideas are no better than old ones, so long as the old ones aren't thrown out.