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OK, I look forward to your surveillance photographs of enemy territory taken on a train. Bombing runs and overnight trips over the ocean in a train will also be amusing. Shooting down enemy planes in a train will also be a neat trick. So will taking the train from remote regions to the hospital. Crop dusting using a train: ditto. Just because your jetblue trips to Baltimore can be replaced with Amtrak doesn't mean the aircraft hasn't radically changed the human condition in ways something like the nerd dildo can't compare to.



Very embarrassing, I was thinking only of human transport. OK, but still, some facts.

> look forward to your surveillance photographs of enemy territory taken on a train

"In 1794, during the Battle of Fleurus, the French Aerostatic Corps balloon L'Entreprenant remained afloat for nine hours. French officers used the balloon to observe the movements of the Austrian Army, dropping notes to the ground for collection by the French Army,[3] and also signalled messages using semaphore.[4]"

from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surveillance_aircraft#Pre_Worl...

A little more dubiously (I'd need to read up a bit to be sure it's not total tripe):

"In or around the second or third century, a prototype hot air balloon, the Kongming lantern, was invented in China, serving as a military communication station.[2][3]"

from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_aerial_warfare

> So will taking the train from remote regions to the hospital

same could be said of roads. Once a road is present new areas are immediately much more accessible. Roads are ancient.

> the nerd dildo can't compare

Dildos have been around for a long time. Not sure this ad hom adds to your point though.


You know; here's a real simple way to adjudge which technological innovations are important. I should really have thought of this before, but as they say, "stone sharpens steel." Certainly a lot of stones around here.

A categorically "important technological innovation" is the kind that, the possession of which would provide an overwhelming and obvious advantage for the society which possesses it, versus the society which doesn't, in the event of a war. Airplanes. Jets. Spacecraft. Atom Bombs. Radar. Antibiotics. Since 1969, no society on the planet has developed such a technology, or if they have, they ain't talking about it. The end.


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You haven't made any points I can identify, so, yes indeed I did ignore them, going back to my point.

I do thank you for taking the time to share your argument; it annoyed me enough to come up with the above summarization of what technologically important breakthroughs are. It also demonstrates ably why a jet airplane is an important improvement over, say, a train; something a child would find obvious, but which some people seem to find confusing.


Since you're struggling, let me point them out.

1. aerial surveillance goes back a lot further than you realised.

Got it?

2. The vietnamese had little of the great advantages you list, yet the US which had them in spades, lost. ISIS is similarly disadvantaged but is also clinging on like the cancer they are.

So your claim there was "overwhelming advantage for the society which possesses [them]" is bunk. Got it?

> demonstrates ably why a jet airplane is an important improvement over, say, a train; something a child would find obvious

which I partly acknowledged, excepting the bits about surveillance. Got it?

The bit about you responding ad hom is dickishly annoying. Got it?


The North Vietnamese lost actually; and had they not been under the Soviet nuclear umbrella, and recipient of billions in Soviet aid, they would have lost a lot quicker to US technological superiority. There were no US troops in South Vietnam when the North entered Saigon.

I dunno what you hope to achieve here; do you think any significant population of people think jets are no big deal?


The US did not achieve their goals is the bottom line. Perhaps another example, the korean war. In both cases the US had the overwhelming advantage including nukes.

Your point is wrong, or right, or needs tightening up so that it can be decided as wrong or right. There is validity in your point but it's not the whole thing, or there would have been unambiguous victory for the US in the cases I gave.

The problem here is not jets/technology but that you won't acknowledge when you're on shaky ground; the problem is now your judgement.

You know what, that's a metaphor for so many of the ills and shortcomings of humanity. You will lose nothing and gain much by just putting your hands up to it and rethinking, but you won't (we're all guilty of that to various degrees, me also).

Your position may be wrong or right or something in between, but it needs refining and thinking through first. Bugs in software are often seen as failings, and they are, but they can be turned into an asset. People's questioning your views here may indicate where you need to rethink (not necessarily change your mind, perhaps just refine and stabilise your position, or perhaps abandon it). Treat their questions and counterclaims as an asset too.


You're refusing to see my heuristic as what it is; a scoring function. As I said above: put it in a wargame simulator like civilization. You only get so many societal resources to invest in your new technology development; only so many smart people to go around. Which would you rather have? A-bombs or iphones?

FWIIW, the US achieved all its goals in the Korean war, and persisted them to the present day, despite the Norks being supported by the Soviets as the North Vietnamese were. Had congress not decided to pull the plug on the South Vietnamese in 1975, there'd probably be two Vietnams as well.




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