The "Next Really Big Thing"

I just blogged in "Reagan, Inflation, and Technology," that technology saved Ronald Reagan's butt and put off the inevitable payment for the U.S. because of the high interest rates of the 1970s and 1980s. In that article I said we are paying now because technology does not have: the "next really big thing," ready at this time.

But, if we don't run ourselves completely aground and go broke, there will be a "next really big thing."

So, were with it come from?

In my opinion the next really big things are:

1) Nanotechnology
2) Renewable Energy
3) Stem Cell and new Microbiological Research
4) Off Site Data Storage and Computing (the latter is Cloud Computing)

In the short term, Off Site Data Storage and Computing is too small to keep us from a deepening recession. It would actually take money away from "on site" hardware and software sales, thus not really create many jobs. A computer salesman could shift over from selling computers to selling off site services. No net job gain there.

Stem Cell and new Microbiological Research is also to small right now, and to narrow of a skill set to really help the broad economy right away. You have to be a microbiologist with an advanced degree to really see any jobs here (or a small sliver of administration personal to help them).

Renewable Energy is the one that will employ the most bodies in the near term. From making wind and solar equipment to installing that equipment, it has the best hope right now of any major job creation.

Nanotechnology is the really interesting one. If it was farther along, it would actually aid Renewable Energy and Stem Cell and new Microbiological Research. Nanotech (I think) will really take those two industries to the next level. The level that we have all been hoping and waiting for. Once the nanotechnology industry is perfected and matures, it will revolutionize those and other industries (transportation; via all kinds of crafts-auto, ship, train, air, space, etc.) But, I fear that we are at least five years, and more likely ten, from any real major breakthroughs here.

Combining Microbiological and Renewable Energy is also showing some promise. For example the work being done with algae to produce fuel. Once again, nanotech might mean a major breakthrough here as well. Another area is ethanol, using microbiology to refine sugar to produce more torque than it does now.

As I blogged in "Air, Water, Food, Shelter, and.....," mass-high speed rail-transportation should be another "next big thing," but I am in the minority on this one. It would create a lot of jobs. But (I fear) we have not gone far enough down to convince the jacked-up four-wheel drive users that this is a necessity. To bad, it could answer short-term job creation with long-term conservation solutions and long-term infrastructure investment in one swift move.

So, short term it is Renewable Energy that only offers any sweeping solutions to adding payrolls and righting the sinking ship.

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