Do you buy the premise (or perhaps the conclusion) that the energy stagnation of the past ~50 years is one of the key reasons why "the future" hasn't yet been realized in the way that one might have assumed back then, had we been more willing to use the required amount of energy to produce and sustain those innovations (like flying cars and nanotech)?
Given my reading of his arguments in the book, it does seem that at least nanotech and nano-scale manufacturing at a societal scale would require much more energy than we have been willing to provide it, so in effect, maybe using a lot more energy in the short term is a prerequisite? Of course, there are also all the regulatory issues and the Machiavellian "power struggles" in academia that Hall claims as reasons for why we don't have advanced nanotech already.
Biotech might be different though since a lot of innovation there is mediated by computing and software.
Thanks a lot for the feedback - actionable and specific.
Yeah I guess this type of argument is table stakes for the Less Wrong community - which is why I wanted to share this post here (which was originally posted on my blog).
I'm pretty new to the Less Wrong community. Getting a lot of value from a lot of the content people are posting and commenting on. Would like to figure out how I can contribute, if at all.