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When will ____ be cheap enough to do ____
I remember when my Dad got his first calculator from the bank in the early 70's, was a brand new vp in the trust dept. He was in awe of the gadget. Now the functions of such a device are almost an afterthought on todays gadgets.

What is so cool today that will be used in many different ways tomorrow because it will become so cheap.

My guess is epaper. B&W on the house roof to absorb or to reflect heat. When color gets cheap enough cars then walls inside and out of the home. At some point roads are going to get the treatment as well for lane changes.

What do you see coming next?
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
I don't know, I know what ain't getting cheaper! Energy and food.
Houses made of some kind of recycled hard plastic, something processed but sturdy and cheaper than wood. Maybe custom molded frames for houses? Back the big plastic truck up and pour the liquid into the mold. Let it set and you're good to go.
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...When aliens send us another Tesla.
wm: I realize that's a joke, however it shows a distinct lack of faith in the brilliance of humanity.

No, I'm not talking about humanity as a whole. Humanity as a whole couldn't light a fire without someone brilliant to make the first match. I'm talking about the flowers that grow out of a pot of dirt (to steal a line from The Simpsons.) Occasionally there's a brilliant person who can think and invent and it's to these people we owe all our technology and, by extension, civilization.
It doesn't take men like Tesla or Einstein anyway. If there's a tunnel 500 feet long, air will only move from the entrance to ~400', how can we get air to the miner at 500'? This is in 1864.

Soldiers figured out how w/o electricity,fans,etc. Fricking soldiers.

Mankind has been creative since day 1.
Pixiest Wrote:...I realize that's a joke, however it shows a distinct lack of faith in the brilliance of humanity.

No really... One of the biographies on Nikola Tesla did claim that he was an extraterrestrial alien. He often flabbergasted the scientists of his day by leaping past the needed inventions necessary to invent second-and-third-level inventions. His inventions worked first time without any need for the usual "try this and see what happens" requirements. Many inventors became famous for backward engineering the inventions that should have come before the ones he did make. He just blew past the intermediary steps and went right to the finished product.

He, himself, said that his inventions came to him in a vision which floated in front of him so he couldn't walk without stumbling into things, and stayed there until he put them into use. He disdained the patent office and commissioned separate fabricators to build different parts of his inventions so no one could figure out how his ideas worked.

One of those inventions was the radio - that Marconi tried to pawn off as his own. Tesla beat him by six years - and Tesla's radio technology was far superior to the other inventors trying to keep up with him. He also developed sensitive electromagnetic receivers that were unlike the less responsive coherers later used by other early experimenters.

Most of his inventions defied the settled scientific knowledge of the period and many scientists claimed the things he built could not work - even as they performed flawlessly.

Personally, I think Epsilon Eridani... maybe Betelgeuse.
As far as I know, recycled plastic is not cheaper than wood. You need lots of energy to recycle plastic, but not so much to cut a tree into lumber.
Jefferson: I place economy among the first and important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our choice between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.
Hence the topic, when will ___ be cheap enough to ___?
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