Ben Reinhardt

All writing by topic


Most predictions suck. When airplanes were sold to the US Army in 1909 the common idea of the time was “With the perfect development of the airplane, wars will be only an incident of past ages.”1 Most predictions look like this. To be fair to the people who predicted this... [Read More]

Science Fiction's Untapped Potential

When an elder preeminent scientist says that something is impossible, he’s probably wrong. When a elder preeminent scientist says something might be possible, he’s probably right. [Read More]

Notes on Are Ideas Getting Harder to Find?

Note to the reader: I wrote these notes mostly because I found the paper confusing the first two times I read it and I think it’s important to have a precise handle on different arguments around the state of technology and research. [Read More]

Notes on The changing structure of American innovation

Here my notes on The changing structure of American innovation - Some cautionary remarks for economic growth by Arora, Belenzon, Patacconi, and Suh. I try to draw clear lines between the authors’ claims and my own responses. If there is ambiguity, anything that sounds smart is them and anything that... [Read More]

The Endless Frontier Act

This is going to be a painfully cliched, but imagine that the American science and technology system is an engine. It’s just not performing as well as it used to. It’s making a lot of noise and when we push the accelerator it’s sluggish. This bill assumes the solution is... [Read More]