While I consider myself an AI and System & cybernetic researcher, I can’t undo myself from the impression that both domains have failed. There are genius insights that arose from the domains, but the impact on society is marginal. I consider it a failure if we consider the expected impact on society and the current impact.
Today I read a story that again gives me the feeling of failure. There is a nice article in wired about technological evolution: The interview is just a small summery, but I get the impression that much is reinvent the wheel. Accept the mentioning of Stuart Kauffman, I didn’t see any other of the great authors in the summery nor did I read it between the lines.
We fail as a science if people reinvent the wheel, it means we did something wrong, that we didn’t make the insights become autonomous entities in our society (e.g. strong memes). I think the article actually gives us an idea why we failed in respect to the economics of our science. Let me quote a part of the article:
…That was the difference between Tim Berners-Lee’s successful HTML code and Ted Nelson’s abortive Xanadu project. Both tried to jump into the same general space—a networked hypertext—but Tim’s approach did it with a dumb half-step, while Ted’s earlier, more elegant design required that everyone take five steps all at once.
Did we try to do it to good and therefore failed? Do we need dumber half-steps? Notice how in this article the whole idea of variety by natural selection is actually expressed by a term with more negative connotation: “To create something great, you need the means to make a lot of really bad crap.”