the reason for this “awe” is simple enough and is NOT irrational. jus as in the stock market, what matters is THE DIRECTION AND SIZE of growth, not simply the CURRENT situation. the world is moving very fast, and anyone who simply rests on their laurels or worse, goes backwards will not remain in a good spot for long.in this case, china is VERY deserving of their “awe”. the ability of the country to lift so many people from poverty in so small a time frame is unprecedented in history.
[The] innovation argument is always taken up by people who write, but know little about innovation, and is utterly despised by people who actually do innovation. See Andy Grove, Ralph Gomory, and every engineer I know.Innovation follows production. We outsource an industry, we lose that expertise and are no longer a serious player — look at rare earth metals, display technologies, and many things in between.We indeed are still strong in some areas, but are rapidly losing ground with enthusiastic participation of American upper management.
“The reality is that innovation happens when you try to make something,” added Kaigham J. Gabriel, deputy director of DARPA. “To innovate you must make.”
The workshop was attended by mostly engineers and technicians which is a nice change to entrepreneurs or managers. Much of the effort that went in was to reduce cost in manufacturing as well as develop new and better manufacturing methods to stay on the cutting edge. But in the end they also came to the conclusion that government funding should expand to an economic driver as well as specific mission objectives. However, I think the gut feeling from the group was more important than specific objectives. You have to make stuff to stay fresh and creative. When we ship all our manufacturing overseas we lose the lessons one learns in product development and lose potential future ideas that could further drive economic growth. Not to mention the public is more concerned with jobs and stability and growth rather than non-specific medals of past glory. Taking US workers out of the equation might have saved on short term costs but what will it cost us in innovation, creativity and long term growth.