Big industry...is risk adverse.
From the big car manufacturers to Hollywood to large countries, the larger an organization gets, the less it is willing to risk for rewards...but NOT risking is also risky, and a giant can fall as easily by avoiding risk as by assuming risk.
One major problem is that few people and fewer companies are very good at predicting things yet to happen...look at any past projections of what 'the future' will be like from commercial companies from the 1900's to last year, and you will find that most of their predictions are lame, linear predictions of the future.
We don't fly our individual planes to work--a favorite of the 1950's--because it's not efficient, and because there's billions of dollars invested in building and selling for profit ground vehicles and the hundreds of thousands of associated items. These investors feel threatened by mass transit systems that work, oil company investor feel threatened by more efficient use of fuels and alternative energy.
To the extent that they are unwilling to look for and invest in new opportunities, in long-range planning and pure research, they are right to be threatened.
Investors want and expect immediate returns--long-term for far too many is 12 months.
It took as under 10 years to go from the ability to orbit a 20lb satellite to placing 2 men on the moon--2500 times further away--and returning them safely to Earth.
Right now, it is projected that the new 'windowshade' for our orbital telescope which will permit us to observe planets closer to other stars, may be ready to deploy in 7 years.
Car manufacturers now take up to a decade to develop a new model--which may have no significant changes from the currently available models.
We've had the capability to automate freeway traffic since the early 1980's...today, you could do it our self for under $5,000...yet the best we are offered in the market is automated emergency braking and automated speed control (and though they could, and should be linked to maintain safe following distances--#1 cause of accidents--that functionality is not available.)
America, indeed, most of the Anglo-American world has become so risk adverse, that we choose the 'safe' course...except when we take a stupid risk based upon wishful thinking.
The US Conservatives are fighting for the right to poison themselves and the rest of the planet, with no thought whatsoever of assisting those who are less-favored--few 'self-made' millionaires had no help, fewer still have physical disabilities. The US Liberals are fighting to try and create utopia for everyone, in part by bringing down those who have succeeded--what would that do to the drive to succeed?
Both courses have become insanely polarized and nearly everyone on the planet knows that is the case. If either were to get there way, it would destroy America, and probably drag down most of the civilized world.
There is no such animal as the 'independent' person. Humans alone die miserable and early deaths while accomplishing little.
Our greatest strength is in our ability to cooperate in groups to build new solutions (our greatest weakness is our tendency to cooperate in groups to destroy the unknown because of fear.
We use only a tiny portion of the resources available on the planet--and only the tiny layer a few miles thick between our deepest mines and our highest aircraft. Worse, we do so wastefully, destroying far more than we actually recover and use.
It's just as things used to be in the junkyards of my youth, where the cars rusted intact in a field, and customers came and removed what they needed--often destroying other parts because it was 'easier.'
No matter which direction you throw your toxic waste, you pee into the wind--and it is nearly always more expensive to clean-up afterward than it would be to properly care for things in the first place.
Risks will be taken--whether you want them or not. What can be done is to use our intelligence and cooperation to properly determine what the true risks are before taking them...and include the risk of doing nothing.
There has not been a truly novel computer game developed in the past 20 years or more. They are all variations of existing types of game.
You can find the same 'new' inventions for the future of today's 'Popular Science/Popular Mechanics' as were there 35 years ago.
The truly novel app or product has no ready market--for it fills an unknown niche.
In 1974 no one outside of the SF and technical fields desired to own a computer--and those of us who did, either had specialized uses in mind, or had trouble explaining whay we desired one.
Today, you probably don't even now how may computers you actually use each day--many are buried inside things like cars, tv's, radios, music players, bicycles and other goods.
During periods of great change, like the early part of the last century, ideas were generated, debugged and marketed within months...often weeks.
These were often truly new ideas--not an existing product with a fancy new shell, which so often is what we are presented with today. The iPhone, novel as it was to the US market, was 'old tech' overseas. The WII has not basically changed since it's first market version.
The same is true in politics. No major politician has proposed anything truly new for decades. Go look at newspaper headlines from the 1980's, and see just how little has changed since then in the world.
War is the failure of governments to find diplomatic solutions...nobody 'wins' war...except those who finance it and those who supply the material to be destroyed.
Leaders of countries have historically had the ethics and manners of 5 year olds screaming 'mine!' back and forth across the playground. Which is interesting primarily because what they are claiming is not really theirs to begin with, but belongs to humanity.
Most people in power today are in positions which separate their power rom the responsibility for the results of their actions. Whenever that happens, those in power have no reason not to take whatever actions they feel like--either for their own benefit, or just to display their power.
There's no way to avoid all risk, but acting from fear nearly always has a higher risk than acting after careful consideration, and very often the first action should be merely to collect more information in order to define the problem---for solving the wrong problem is often worse than allowing an existing problem to exist a bit longer.
Nearly all schemes to take advantage of you will use either fear or greed (sometimes both.) To act from either is to cut your own throat.
If someone scares you. Ask yourself why?
If a deal seems to be a 'sure thing,' to good to be true, it probably is not true.
Nothing we do does only one thing, and almost no action has no negative effects.
You already know that advertisers (of everything from peanuts to politicians,) lie and twist the truth to unrecognizable forms---so why do you pay then any attention?
Remember that honest people almost never tell you how honest they are--it would never occur to them that you would think otherwise--dishonest people spend lots of time telling you how honest they are because they assume you are dishonest too.
We finance our health research based upon advertising and fear--the number one killer of people is heart and arterial diseases. Cancer is scary, but far from the most dangerous.
We discovered immunization two centuries ago, and it marked a tremendous advance in the constant war against micro-organisms (which outweigh us and all other life by many, many times.) 100% immunization isn't required to protect a population--for any threat there is a lower percentage which will prevent the disease from become established...though of course, anyone not immunized is at risk.
Today, we have 3 generations of Americans who've never seen a pandemic. As those who have age and die, those who have no knowledge assume that the risk is either non-existent or over-stated because they have no personal knowledge. Thus, the percentage of children being vaccinated is dropping. It has not, as yet, dropped to the point of allowing pandemics of things like measles or mumps or other well-known threats of the past, but the trend is heading in that direction.
Your individual risk from not being vaccinated is tiny (though still far larger than the risk that the vaccine will injure you,) but as te percentage of unvaccinated grows, so does your individual risk....and with many of the 'childhood' diseases like measles & mumps, what is a moderate discomfort as a child, tends to kill adults.
Your risk in America of being killed by a terrorist is about the same as the risk that your TV will fall and crush you. Heart attack and car accidents have far higher risks.
In the corporate world, the best way to reduce risk is to analyze the risk, then plan so that it is minimized. Don't spend US$100 million on a new product launch before you've spent US$100,000 in a test market.
And though every business training course tells you to keep people with opposing ideas on your team, few people do so, and the risk of patting yourself on the back and over the side of the boat are very high without someone to point out flaws.
And decision makers eed to have both possible losses and possible gains personally if they are to make intelligent choices...a person guaranteed a multimillion dollar bonus win or lose, has little incentive to make certain that they have made good choices.
None of this is new. None of it is rocket science. All it requires is that you think before acting, and realize that no action is action too.