Room at the Top .
2 Mar 2009
"There is room at the bottom" Feinman
A famous statement that led to nanotechnology .
Why should there not be room at the top ?
This is essentially an argument that quantitive change causes qualitative change .
If you make things small enough , what you can do changes in nature .
Is the same true in the other direction ?
From a systemic viewpoint it is true . Building the pyramids is inherently different from building a house . We can sense it . But exactly how?
And is it relevant if scaled ? Is a mini-pyramid a house ? At what point does a large structure become , well , large ?
This is not idle speculation . Previous civilizations constructed pyramids , mausoleums , monuments , public temples , etc , all providing steady employment from surplus wealth through periods of fluctuating fortunes .
It also created wealth . (See below)
At present we have NASA , Foundations , Red Cross et al to do the same .
This changes the society and the humans that comprise it .
Wealth creation .
We know from previous arguments that the upper boundary of sustainable , hierarchical growth = 2/3(non-reserves) * 1/3(reserves) = 22%
Most historical rates are far below 22% .
The difference is the room at the top .
This is why humans have very large scale projects like Stone Henge , the Pyramids , cities , NASA , large wars , etc .
Briefly , non-reserves (profits) are put into long-term-reserves like exploration and research . It has immediate short-term effects , as well as a multiplier on long-term effects .
Building huge buildings and monuments make money . (The velocity of money increases significantly : 10% to 20% . ) So all those old Romans and Greeks weren't so dumb after all .
The Colosseum and the Pyramids still stand and rake in more tourist money than they did while operating . A good , long-term investment for the society .
I hope the same is true for the GreenPoint Stadium in Cape Town . Much as it galls me , the logic compels me that it will be probably true .
There is room at the top .
Really large scale enterprises make the society richer . Even if they have no productive purpose .
A modest proposal :
A Pyramid to match Gizeh at the southern tip of Africa would have a pleasing symmetry . But built by manual labour on the old Egyptian method . Tourists can pay to be part of the effort . Inscribe their names on the inside of the stones . Locals can be paid as a Public Works program . This would be nifty .