CR4 - The Engineer's Place for News and Discussion®

Previous in Forum: These Numbers Aren't Random Either   Next in Forum: What / Where / Who ?
Close

Comments Format:






Close

Subscribe to Discussion:

CR4 allows you to "subscribe" to a discussion
so that you can be notified of new comments to
the discussion via email.

Close

Rating Vote:







18 comments
Active Contributor

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Brazil - Porto Alegre
Posts: 23

Internet is Responsible for Low Innovation Era?

04/30/2012 10:45 AM

Dear Sirs

There are some provocation from several authors, that we are not actually living in an era of great innovation

Some authors thinks that this is due to the internet era , that became a major part of our lives in the last 15 years . That in the future someone will say that if we look back, we were an actively creating society , and then everthing got put in hold for a generation, when internet happened.

In my opinion internet is only the the peek of the iceberg of the problem.

The society changed with the midia era (tv , computer, games , celular, internet)

We don´t need more to think, because all questions seems to be answered somewere

Obviously we should not avoid the use of these midias, but find a way to don´t

priorize the midias to much.

Reserve time to think, and follow and test new paths that nobody has walked before could be a good way to

Fernando

__________________
Where there's a will there's a way
Register to Reply
Pathfinder Tags: LOW INNOVATION AREA
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC USA
Posts: 13500
Good Answers: 466
#1

Re: INTERNET IS RESPONSIBLE FOR LOW INOVATION ERA?

04/30/2012 11:00 AM

The internet is just a tool. For me, a great one. It all depends on how it is used.

With the internet at my fingertips, there is almost no project that I'm afraid to tackle. All the info I need is out there.

I also don't play online games, etc. CR4 is about my only internet time waster............................I like it here, what can I say?

My wife would be just fine if CR4 went down tomorrow...........for good.

I also think that there is a lot of great innovation going on, in many different fields. The great innovators have always been a very small minority..................that was true long before the internet and cell phones.

My only real concern, is that as we are able to do more and more work, with less and less people...........................where and how, are the ever growing masses going to earn a living?

__________________
Proud proponent of "Flea Market" Capitalism!
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: srilanka
Posts: 2376
Good Answers: 5
#2

Re: Internet is Responsible for Low Innovation Era?

05/01/2012 2:31 AM

Internet has reduced the necessity for thinking and calculating. Great discoveries were made without even calculators. It is a difficult question because science has two faces-theory and application and more than 95% of people use application and only a few use innovation or thinking on their own.

__________________
pnaban
Register to Reply
Guru
India - Member - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bangalore, India
Posts: 2710
Good Answers: 157
#3

Re: Internet is Responsible for Low Innovation Era?

05/01/2012 5:36 AM

There are less and less things to invent. That is the reason for any seemingly reduced innovative spirit. Internet is just a great tool which helps you in any innovation/invention you want to do, and also tells you (in most cases) if someone has already done it. Not a bad thing.

There is also the fact that most companies harp on teamwork and not on individual initiative. So...less innovation.

IMHO, the individual inventor is a dying breed.

__________________
Nothing worthwhile can ever be taught, it can only be learnt.
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Ottawa Canada
Posts: 1981
Good Answers: 118
#4

Re: Internet is Responsible for Low Innovation Era?

05/01/2012 12:15 PM

I think the problem is that every invention I come up with seems to have been invented by somebody else first. There is really nothing new under the sun, and the internet drives that point home in an uncaring, soul crushing way. Hard to keep coming up with new stuff when basic research is getting so easy.

The internet does provide a good filter for patent applicants. The number of applicants here in Gatineau (Ottawa) has fallen over the last several years, but the number of SUCCESSFUL patents has risen. (anecdotal evidence from a patent clerk of my acquaintance.)

I know that innovation is not the same as patents. But I don't know how else to measure innovation. So, as intriguing as your thesis is (that we are not living in an era of great innovation) I have to question your assertion. I admit that we are running out of cheap machines to build....innovation is now incremental and very expensive on space vehicles and multi engine passenger aeroplanes. (compare the roll out of the latest airbus to the 1903 Indian motorcycle over on the Hemmings blog. The motorcycle was more innovative in my humble opinion) A metalurgical improvement on a bolt which holds the casing onto a wind turbine is not nearly as newsworthy as a helium balloon supported wind turbine. So, just as a supposition and gut feeling on my part, I might argue that most true innovation nowadays is simply not reported.

Engineers rarely concern themselves with innovation in any case. (thats my cat being thrown in amongst the pigeons, totally intentionally I assure you!) They tend to be all about making creative use of existing mature technology. Designing a moving sidewalk to reduce congestion in a city is not innovative, but it would certainly make for a good engineering project. (perhaps innovative for the city planner though) Designing a bridge which uses concrete which has been hydrated with egg whites would certainly be innovative. (I hear they did that with the Charles Bridge in Prague) but I would have to ask "whatever for?". So innovation just for the sake of innovation might not be worth the trouble, and may even result in a disaster. There has to be a reason.

What worries me most is the fact that there is this body of knowledge we know about and use to engineer anything from bridges to genetically modified wheat, and the more we learn, the more we realize that there is a HUGE body of "unknown knowledge". Universities, teaching hospitals, and large corporations are often at the forefront of the exploration of such knowledge, and patents are always being sought for the innovations which come from such research.

The domain of the unknown knowledge is the domain of the fraud artist and huckster. Many self deluded individuals are still purchasing magnetic bracelets, supporting legions of accupunture practitioners, and putting themselves to sleep with homeopathic medicines and cracking their backs with Chiropracty. More money is being spent to publish astrology columns than is spent on astronomy and rhinocerouses are being driven to extinction because some guy can't get it up. The real innovation these days is in the field of fraud, much of which seems to involve a desire to convince ordinary folks that there is a secret knowledge known to the ancients that will fix the corns on their toes. Ah well. Its all innovation right?

I think this topic should be expanded upon. Good topic.

__________________
If it was easy anybody could do it.
Register to Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Cosmology - New Member Technical Fields - Technical Writing - New Member Engineering Fields - Energy Engineering - New Member Engineering Fields - Electrical Engineering - New Member Engineering Fields - Control Engineering - New Member Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - Old Member, New Association

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Lexington, KY
Posts: 1139
Good Answers: 60
#5

Re: Internet is Responsible for Low Innovation Era?

05/01/2012 1:24 PM

I don't believe the internet has anything to do with a lack of creativity. In fact, with the enormous amount of information that is available, I believe that productivity has increased while at the same time, keeping costs in better control.

People are finding solutions faster, not having to re-invent something that someone else is already selling (at far less than the cost of development).

The real problem seems to be a plateau of development caused by the demand for profit from the existing infrastructure.

When 19 out of 20 business start-ups fail because they didn't have what it takes to be successful, I think what you will find is that most of those failures suffered from a lack of information. Hundreds of products are introduced every year at an enormous cost, yet very few of those actually survive introduction. You just can't create a market for something that nobody wants.

We have so many choices now that it can be exhausting to go shopping. What we need is a new direction into which new markets can grow. When you look at what people spend their money on, [food, housing, transportation and entertainment] it becomes difficult to find innovations that haven't already been tried.

Where is that car that flys and gets 80 mpg? Where are the new vegetable's or foods that make life interesting? (Actually there are several that we may never see because they are less profitable to grow!) How can we make houses cheaper - - wait a minute, I already have that problem. What other kind of entertainment can we find (assuming it won't be illegal???)?

Why does it take so little to disturb the economy? Control that better and you have a real innovation!

No, I don't think the internet is the problem. Our attention span may be the problem. In fact, I'm already tired of this topic.

__________________
A great troubleshooting tip...."When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Automotive Performance - New Member Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Want to be: 34° 34' 21.60" N, 92° 55' 42.28" W Really am in Arizona
Posts: 30144
Good Answers: 1143
#6

Re: Internet is Responsible for Low Innovation Era?

05/01/2012 9:48 PM

borrowed from ozzb

__________________
Luck comes and goes. Skill is forever. The supply of fools will always outstrip the demand .
Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Active Contributor

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Brazil - Porto Alegre
Posts: 23
#7

Re: Internet is Responsible for Low Innovation Era?

05/02/2012 9:22 AM

In this discussion we had several interesting points of view, but most of the opinions don´t believe that internet has something to do with the lack of innovation

In this discussion some people say that lack of innovation is more related to the fact that everything has been invented or investments being driven to common solutions (teamwork) or in field of fraud.

If we think, our car are better but still uses fossil fuels , eletricity is still eletricity and also uses fossil fuels , transistor is still being used and we don´t arrived Mars, only to give some examples

But some people think that just give to the digital area some time and you will see huge changes how we work and live . In other words " Just wait"

We are just waiting and economical situation of Europe, Americas and Asia are not improving as fast as we wish

I think a new era of innovation could contribute to create a lot of jobs and help to solve the problem of growing masses.

Is possible to find innovative people in our countries with the hability to change the world for better, driven and inspired more in humanity than for profit , the moto of the research companies?

I believe is possible but we need to change our attention in the right direction ,

or the right persons with not ordinary way of thinking

__________________
Where there's a will there's a way
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Ottawa Canada
Posts: 1981
Good Answers: 118
#8
In reply to #7

Re: Internet is Responsible for Low Innovation Era?

05/02/2012 1:26 PM

I explained why I don't think we are living in an era of low innovation.

What evidence do you have that we are not an innovative generation.

Perhaps it is just Brazil. (I think I saw on your profile that you were from Brazil) So lets look briefly at general information about patents in Brazil. (that internet again...grin!)

Patent applications in Brazil take an average of 5 years and 2 months to process, and there is a current backlog of 130, 000 patent applications. In 2005, the Patent and Trademark Office received 23,000 applications and granted fewer than 8000. I don't know...seems like Brazil is pretty innovative to me. Why would you think otherwise? How do YOU measure innovation?

Sounds like you have in idea in your head that the internet is bad for invention and innovation, and are seeking justification for that view. I don't see it myself. Perhaps you have some statistics you can share?

__________________
If it was easy anybody could do it.
Register to Reply
Active Contributor

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Brazil - Porto Alegre
Posts: 23
#9
In reply to #8

Re: Internet is Responsible for Low Innovation Era?

05/02/2012 2:03 PM

Dear Sir

Has nothing to do with leaving in Brazil

I read this article from a speech made in MIT lecture hall (USA) , from a greath author . There are other authors in USA, that has the same point of view , and they are calling our era as "The Great Stagnation"

I am just sharing what I read for discussion because I thought the provocation interesting.

If you have an opinion that we are in a great innovation era, than fine . Its your opinion and I respect it .

In opionion of several other people , we are not in an innovation era

How to prove who is right?

I believe that the economy of the countries will tell the truth.

In innovation eras in the past , economy was always booming

Future will tell ...

__________________
Where there's a will there's a way
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Ottawa Canada
Posts: 1981
Good Answers: 118
#10
In reply to #9

Re: Internet is Responsible for Low Innovation Era?

05/02/2012 4:36 PM

You are like a politician, skating around the question, not answering it.

HOW would YOU measure innovation? I suggest patent applications. What is YOUR measure. By MY measure (which are clear and easily obtained numbers) there is NO great stagnation. How do the "great authors who visited MIT" figure there is a stagnation. How do THEY measure. What are their criteria? I didn't attend their lecture, so I don't know where they are getting their ideas from.

Please show your work.

From time to time, I complain bitterly on these pages about how innovation is not being used. Like my example of moving sidewalks....instead of a surface moving device, they are installing a billion dollar subway here in Ottawa. A nineteenth century solution to a 21st century problem. The inate conservatism of engineers and the politicians they advise is something I complain about all the time. But that is not the same as being non-innovative. Thats just being conservative and not open to new ways of using old technology. Not the "Great Stagnation" at all.

Yusef1

__________________
If it was easy anybody could do it.
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC USA
Posts: 13500
Good Answers: 466
#11
In reply to #10

Re: Internet is Responsible for Low Innovation Era?

05/02/2012 4:50 PM
__________________
Proud proponent of "Flea Market" Capitalism!
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Ottawa Canada
Posts: 1981
Good Answers: 118
#13
In reply to #11

Re: Internet is Responsible for Low Innovation Era?

05/03/2012 10:00 AM

Brynolfsson stated in that talk that innovation is NOT slowing down, and Cowan (who wrote the book) stated that it is something called "Middle Class Stagnation" which is causing the rich to get richer and middle class to stay pretty much where they are...that technology created the middle class, brought them up to where they are now, and left them there.

He states the same as me....that innovation is still going on, but goes on to postulate that it is not doing its job of bringing poor and middle class up the class ladder. However, if innovation is going on, and it is not changing the world like we thought it would, then maybe innovation is not going to change the world "as he sees it". I would ask to see his work...and wonder why he would ever expect invention and innovation to ever do that.

I even challenge his central thesis that the Middle Class has not seen the wealth created by stunning changes in technology that they saw, say, during the sailing of the Titanic a hundred years ago. The middle class then worked 14 hours a day mining coal, keeping accounts and weaving cloth, they didn't get much benefit from technology then either! Then, as now, it was the wealthy upper class which gets the benefit. The lower classes get the jobs.

(But where are the flying cars, the 8 hour work week we were promised? Get a reality check!)

Have any of you watched the TV show made here in Canada called "The Dragon's Den"? Youtube videos here and here. This is a group of venture capitalists who evaluate inventor after inventor, examining them for merit and whether the inventions are investment worthy. Their comments, their reasons for investing and not investing are IMHO much more useful reasons why and how social engineering can be a product of innovation. And their comments are rather more to the point than a group of Ivory Tower academics who most assuredly do NOT have their fingers on the pulse of a struggling upwardly mobile middle class. (actually, why should they, all of them are actually outside their field of expertise when they gave that talk.) The Dragons will tell you that the rules of success involve owning the rights to proprietory products, fulfilling a need rather than creating one, finding customers, doing good advertising, and creating wealth by expanding into new and bigger markets. None of the inventors could be described as wealthy men, or even particularly well educated. Moreover, none of the Dragons came from a wealthy family, all were self made millionaires.

Oh well. as you said Kramarat, its a talking point. Does not really impact ME much, if at all. I follow a different drum in any case. I don't "like" the Dragons. Way too worldly for my taste. However, I have nothing but respect for them. Erik Kain asks "has all the low hanging fruit been picked"? I challenge him to watch a few episodes of the Dragon's Den and still answer "yes".

__________________
If it was easy anybody could do it.
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC USA
Posts: 13500
Good Answers: 466
#15
In reply to #13

Re: Internet is Responsible for Low Innovation Era?

05/03/2012 10:31 AM

Well, I think I'm with you on the talking point.

I'm not sure what everyone is expecting technology to deliver? Technology in the consumer arena has already surpassed anything that I'm interested in. I don't have a phone that doubles as a computer or a camera, and when I rarely watch TV, I watch the same old garbage on a tube TV. I'm happy that I can take a hot shower, put on clean clothes, crack a cold beer, and sit on my front porch and listen to music of my choosing.................doesn't get much better.

As far as "Middle Class Stagnation", my definition would be: People are incapable of being happy with what they have. Always stressing about the stuff they don't.

Most people have no comprehension, that what we consider "poor" in America, are people that live vastly superior lives to the "royalty" of a few hundred years ago.

Did I mention that I also hate whining?

__________________
Proud proponent of "Flea Market" Capitalism!
Register to Reply
Active Contributor

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Brazil - Porto Alegre
Posts: 23
#16
In reply to #10

Re: Internet is Responsible for Low Innovation Era?

05/03/2012 3:34 PM

Hi Yusef1,

In my opinion is not easy to measure innovation of a nation, but is not impossible

I prefer the economic point of view for measuring the innovation

So, I will start with with a simple company (X COMPANY )

Measure the gross profit of the X Company (GP) , with the new products

Measure the mean cost for developing these new ideas (MCDE)

(labor cost, engineeres costs, test,equipments,etc)

Profit/idea (US$/idea) = GP /MCDE

So if the company has a profit of US$ 25.000.000 with these new ideas, and the mean cost of developing these ideas was US$ 10.000, the profit /idea is US$ 2500

If profit/idea is constantly increasing in a company, we have innovation, because ideas were well accepted in the market (ideas were sold)

Measure the profit/idea of the biggest 100 companies in your nation, if you have available data, and you can have an idea if innovation increased or not

In a company is very easy to measure innovation, in a nation not so easy

Hope I answered your question like an engineer and not like a politician

Best Regards

__________________
Where there's a will there's a way
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Ottawa Canada
Posts: 1981
Good Answers: 118
#18
In reply to #16

Re: Internet is Responsible for Low Innovation Era?

05/08/2012 9:32 AM

So do you think the MIT talk used that method to decide that innovation is down?

I show MY work...grin!

__________________
If it was easy anybody could do it.
Register to Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Cosmology - New Member Technical Fields - Technical Writing - New Member Engineering Fields - Energy Engineering - New Member Engineering Fields - Electrical Engineering - New Member Engineering Fields - Control Engineering - New Member Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - Old Member, New Association

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Lexington, KY
Posts: 1139
Good Answers: 60
#12

Re: Internet is Responsible for Low Innovation Era?

05/03/2012 8:07 AM

Could be that all the con artists are too busy stealing other peoples ideas and therefore don't have time to do their own inovation.

__________________
A great troubleshooting tip...."When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Ottawa Canada
Posts: 1981
Good Answers: 118
#14
In reply to #12

Re: Internet is Responsible for Low Innovation Era?

05/03/2012 10:07 AM

I would recommend Kevin Mitnik's book about con men. Your systems, your bank accounts, and your security services will NEVER feel save ever again! He uses innovation in very, um...innovative ways. He is not your grandaddy's con man! Yet...he is...

__________________
If it was easy anybody could do it.
Register to Reply
Active Contributor

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Brazil - Porto Alegre
Posts: 23
#17

Re: Internet is Responsible for Low Innovation Era?

05/08/2012 7:23 AM

Hi Alexander,

Yes, you are right !!!

Best Regards

Fernando

__________________
Where there's a will there's a way
Register to Reply
Register to Reply 18 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

FE (4); kramarat (3); kvsridhar (1); lyn (1); NotUrOrdinaryJoe (2); pnaban (1); Yusef1 (6)

Previous in Forum: These Numbers Aren't Random Either   Next in Forum: What / Where / Who ?

Advertisement