First thoughts on "Average is Over"…

I’ll have more complete thoughts later, but at least initially:

–Cowen’s premise is The Great Stagnation wont subsequently be followed by a future technical revolution (like the Cognitive Society [pdf] that I have recently pushed in my work with the National Science Foundation). I don’t necessarily buy that. The fact that so many billionaires are putting their money (and big money) on space exploration may be a hint to a future less austere than the one Tyler puts forward in the book.

–I learned a huge amount about chess and computer programs that play chess. The notion of human-computer teaming (freestyle chess competitions) is definitely part of the Cognitive Society idea and I think Cowen is spot on.

–I think Tyler is wrong about science–at least the life sciences which I know something about: we are becoming ever less stove-piped. The big discoveries are being made across disciplines. Further, with regards to a payoff for lowering health-care costs, a cure for Alzheimer’s disease alone, would put a significant dent into that piece of the budget pie. Because of my own involvement with what’s going on in molecular neuroscience, I see that day coming–I don’t assume the status quo for years to come.

That said, Average is Over is Tyler’s best book that I’ve read to date. It’s an excellent read.

3 thoughts on “First thoughts on "Average is Over"…

  1. I agree with Dr. Olds, not only because I am a former student of his, but because a cognitive society is the natural trajectory.

    However, as big data and research unveils new trends and skeptics are debunked, how will we as a society welcome these new norms that a cognitive society will undoubtedly bring about?

    It's hard enough to get our kids to stop eating sugar and watching TV incessantly, do you believe that evidenced based research will be able to surmount the HUGE obstacle which you quaintly stated to be a “tripping hazard”?


  2. what billionaires are putting their money on space exploration?

    Richard Branson is angling for high end space tourism.

    Elon Musk is angling for government contracts.

    They are betting on low orbit services, not space exploration.


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