Monday, January 19, 2009

The Jobs of the Future

I posted on this recently.
And even more recently the TED lecture rss feed directed me to this talk by Paul MacCready.
There is one very telling and simple analysis of a very simple slide starting at about 10 Minutes and 15 seconds.
But more than this he tells us a LOT about innovation and new technologies and how they get created. Not by some politician or bureaucrat proclaiming, "Hey we need to decide this is how we fix our energy problems - let's pound billions of dollars into it!"
Seems MacCready responded to prizes and tax incentives, and these seem great drivers, as they can be designed not to try to determine the solution, but simply describe the problem. It seems his prizes were put up privately but it seems to me there is no reason government cannot simply put up prizes.
Sorry, there is ONE reason that is an unlikely direction. Politicians for understandable reasons entirely prefer channeling funding into favorite paths from square one - waiting for the outcome of a competition removes their power to feed their sponsors, who just might lose any fair competition.
As for the video, you also get Alan Alda!

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