From Where Is My Flying Car?
"The extent to which a technology didn’t live up to its Jetsons-era expectation is strongly correlated with its energy intensity. The one area where progress continued most robustly—Moore’s Law in computing and communications—was the one where energy was not a major concern."

Do you have reading tips, papers etc on this topic?

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I enjoyed Richard Rhodes's Energy: A Human History

Vaclav Smil has written a couple books on energy; I haven't read them yet but probably Energy and Civilization: A History is the most relevant?

Our World in Data has a lot of research on energy, see e.g. this chart of GDP per capita vs. energy use that shows a strong correlation (the relationship is reciprocal, IMO).

Eli Dourado and Austin Vernon have an article on energy superabundance—what could we do in the future with lots more energy?

See also the intro to this post of mine on nuclear.

I think that "Where is my Flying Car" makes this case persuasively, especially for the modern day. 

There are a few interesting articles on Anton Howe's substack if you are interested in a more historical perspective on energy use and technology. He writes on early modern economic history, 1550-1700 or so, and a lot of his writing relates to how the foundation for the Industrial Revolution was laid. Many of his posts are paywalled, however. 

2 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 7:49 PM

When you ask questions like that, the name Vaclav is going to come up at least a few times, and Energy and Civilization was a titan of a book. The other book from Smil that I would have to recommend in line with your question would be "Grand Transitions How the Modern World Was Made" - Vaclav Smil, c2021

Another recent Smil book, slightly out of the scope of your question but still relevant, is "Numbers Don't Lie: 71 Things You Need to Know About the World" - Smil c2021.

Note: Smil is a fellow Canadian, and I've had the opportunity to bounce emails around with him since 2018, when when I reached out to ask his take on some Tesla-related questions. While he's a truly brilliant thinker, a genuine world expert on energy, many books, including Rhodes's, took inspiration from his work — he is, from my perspective, become, or perhaps always was, glass-half-empty on the future of human civilization. I had the opportunity to interview him for an op-ed earlier in the year but didn't push it as I was somewhat worried it would result in an unrestrained dump on future progress.

Thanks Tony. Currently reading his Energy: A Beginner's Guide =)