|WikiProject History of Science|
This is an interesting article, though it conflates technological escalation with several of the other weaknesses of Western capitalist societies. Rather than spend the time yet to root this out (which I think is worth doing), I so far only made some minor edits to disclaim some of the article’s arguments that were forcefully argued as the truth:
- Sources would need to be cited that the space race had "by far" more spinoff value than military investment. The spinoff-benefit claims of both classes of expenditures have historically been greatly exaggerated by the usual parties.
- Is it proven that there is an "increasing" degree of tension and confrontation between nations? Or does it only seem so because we did not live, well, in all the other centuries of civilization's history?
- Only a very few would claim the development of the dreadnought and aircraft carrier were the solitary root causes of WWI and WWII.
- The word "innovation" indeed is used all the time to mention energy efficiency.
- Although the SUV paragraph is interesting, I removed it because it does not have to do with technological escalation. SUV cars could have been built in the 1950s but did not become popular until the 1990s, indicating that the technological innovation was not causal. What about the technological escalation that made the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight popular cars in the United States? They are the latest technology on the block and their popularity (in USA West Coast cities, at least) is seemingly not merited by the mere incremental improvement in fuel economy that they represent over other compact cars. People are buying them because of the idea they represent. In any case, they should also be mentioned if we’re going to go on and on about how bad capitalists are with their big SUVs.
The three paragraphs about computer gaming are where the article really spins out of control, jumping to several unsupported conclusions in a row and deep into speculative feminist theory.
- The computer game stuff was really interesting even if it belongs in a different article. [link] Re SUV's, I've heard they were invented as a way to make minivans look more masculine. Phr 22:49, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)Phr
Perhaps the definition at the beginning should be changed, since the last 1/3 of the article talks about technological escalation outside of the military context. Possible idea for expansion: The idea of inefficient technological escalation in the computer area (across business and personal fields) is interesting, and possibly more applicable now than it was five years ago because of anecdotal observation that "computers are fast enough" by now for most purposes, and there’s no particular need for a person using Microsoft Word to possess a 3GHz computer. But this is all anecdotal; if chip factories were still cranking out 500MHz machines, they would probably be using the same resources to do so, so the inefficiency was the work of the designers and the construction of one new plant ... and maybe all those workers with 3GHz machines save a couple minutes every day ... sorry for the circular argument. The topic is interesting, however. Computer gaming might be mentioned (though not at all in the current context). Tempshill 20:03, 16 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Some of the Motives section seems nonconformist in regards to the neutral point of view guideline. The most obvious examples are: "a key motive in all competition in all mammal species, especially among males, is simple showing off."; "capitalism permits inferior beings qualified only for deception to lay access to media"; "there need not be any direct gain or material motive involved to cause vast sums of skill and energy to go into goals that are, ultimately, symbolic.". These opinions, although couched in neutral language, are stated as fact. Greatjones
Technological Escalation in War
Technological Escalation in War is so far out of kilter that I am not going to bother to fix it! For example:
- Romans used Iron
- Armour was used by a Greeks in a phalanx.
- Cavalry was around before armour.
- What is a Greek phalanx if not a massed defence or a massed assult?
- Tanks were around before blitzkrieg
- Professional soldiers and merceneries are at least as old as the Greek phalanx
- The Byzantine Empire used greek fire (chemical weapon)
- In the middle ages it was common to use bilogical weapons. Philip Baird Shearer 23:48, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Another escalation section removed to here
The following section is so discontiguous that I moved it to here. Also, the "note" is incorrect and contradicts the definition presented in the arms race article. --The Transhumanist 10:23, 25 September 2006 (UTC)
Technological escalation in war
Human history is frequently divided into the ages where specific military technology was used. Hand-to-hand combat, clubs, axes, spears, spear throwers, stone spear heads, bow and arrow, crossbow, copper age, bronze age, the Greek phalanx, the Roman legion, iron age, steel age, gunpowder age, armor, horse cavalry, massed assault, conscription, professional soldiers, mercenaries, blitzkrieg, the tank, biological weapons, chemical weapons, and nuclear weapons.
Note: the concept of an arms race merely refers to fervent pursuit of greater armaments, and has nothing to say about whether these armaments are of innovative types or are merely more numerously produced.
(moved to this section by Mgm|(talk) 23:01, May 28, 2005 (UTC)) I removed all the computer gaming stuff. This is completely irrelevant to this article. Techonological escaltation has nothing to do with computer games!?!?!
Discussion of computer games has its own page.
- Actually, computer games play an important part in technological escallation. There's a large market for such games, which drives developers to be fiercely competitve. This is expressed in packing so many new features and improvements into the software that it invariable slows the hardware to a crawl, which brings pressure to bear upon OEMs to improve the machines. It was the computer game market which drove the improvement of graphics capabilities by creating demand for higher resolution images. Some of the most sophisticated programming has been introduced by game developers, who then went on to form their own companies and apply what they had learned to other applications. --The Transhumanist 10:37, 25 September 2006 (UTC)
I've removed the following:
- Sir Francis Bacon famously stated that "Knowledge is power. Power can be directed towards good or evil purposes. Knowledge cannot be good nor evil, but the usage is."
All but one of the few Google hits for this  are from mirrors of this article, and the one that isn't describes the quote as being "of unknown but seemingly early historical origin".
Please don't restore this quote without also providing a verifiable cite. -- The Anome 06:56, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
This article seems to be making some unfounded, somewhat sexist, claims. The whole business about males "showing off" is biased, as is the assertion that boys are performing worse academically due to their alleged inclination to play computer games. None of this is backed up by any citations. Finally, there is this unreferenced statement:
...it would be hard to imagine a theory that is more strongly rooted in biology than this, and more difficult to convincingly and fully refute, and that the theory is not much criticized because there is no way to gain status from criticizing something so clearly and obviously true."
This is not at all neutral - it claims absolute truth and offers neither citations nor any competing ideas.220.127.116.11 04:40, 2 January 2007 (UTC)GFM
World views, paradigms
I think this entire section can be removed. I believe it belongs in the technology article, more than escalation. This article is on the advancement of technology as an effect of competition, not simply on technological advancement. If it were, it would make more sense, but as this article stands, it isn't relevant.
Rename to Technological Competition?
Competition better describes the article. Escalation used in this sense gives a flavour of nuclear escalation, which is all wrong. If there is no disagreement, I'd like to move this to technological competition. Buckshot06(prof) 22:48, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
I've stubbed the article
The article as it stood was totally unsourced, and was clearly based on someone's personal essay. The history shows that it started out at 13k, got built up to 16k, and has slowly been deflating down to 11k as editors removed more and more of it. While I do think that the essential kernel is correct, and that much of the article may have been true, I've chosen to reduce it to a stub, rather than do the extensive (and difficult) research necessary to source someone else's essay from scratch. If the concept is valid, than the article should accumulate by accretion as editors contribute to it, and as long as those are sourced additions, the article will be improved. The number of watchers of the article is small (under 30), but I hope that we can strictly enforce basic Wikipedia policies (i.e. verifiability, no original research, reliable sources etc.) to ensure that the article's growth is positive. Beyond My Ken (talk) 05:00, 18 April 2011 (UTC)