Ben Reinhardt

All writing by topic

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]

Technology Readiness Levels

What are technology readiness levels and why should you care Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) are a framework for talking about the maturity of a new technology. They’re widely used at NASA and the various branches of the Department of Defense but not many other places. We should change that. [Read More]

Trusted Hierarchies and the Coronavirus Crisis

tl;dr: Trusted hierarchies are important for solving problems under constrained time and resources. Governments have historically provided large-scale trusted hierarchy but the US government has completely botched that role in the coronavirus crisis. We need to ignore the false dichotomy of “government vs decentralized coordination” and create a new temporary... [Read More]