Tech Innovation has stagnated?

I read a fascinating article on CNet featuring Peter Thiel's opinion that tech innovation has stalled. When I first read the headline, I thought this must be yet another crackpot tech journalist that is spouting off some new nonsense. But after reading the article, I agree 100% with his opinions.

He is basically stating that while electronics related tech (Computers, the Internet, etc.) is still expanding at a rapid pace, the rest of the tech world is not. We are still using petroleum based fuel way too much. Space innovation is very slow compared to 40 years ago. Our governments still use ancient processes and 'technology' to get things done, for the most part.

Peter Thiel is postulating that we live in a society that has lost interest in science and technology. I think I agree. And I think I know why.


The Moon's orbit, how did it get there?

I ran across this site today that shows a very cool use of SVG in the new Firefox 1.5 (the site only works in Firefox 1.5, as none of the other browsers have implemented SVG yet). It's a tool that let's you play with various scenarios of how the Earth's moon got into orbit. You can start the moon in space, from the Earth's surface, or finally on the moon's current orbit location. Then you choose a launch angle and launch force, and see what happens. If you read the instructions, it gives a nice run down of the various scientific theories surrounding the moon, and it gives you some pointers on trying to get the moon into the perfect orbit. But it doesn't give you the answer! :)

I also liked this paragraph, "There are some people who think that the moon was actually placed into orbit. It neither came from the Earth or outer space. It began its journey in a circle on the circle. But they are just unscientific aren't they?" Of course, we're talking about the Supreme Being vs. Pure Science debate. The interesting thing about that paragraph is that earlier in the directions the site's author says this, "If you want to get the moon to follow the red orbital path then you have to start it somewhere on the red orbital path." Did he rig the test? Assuming he is using correct mathematical principals in this tool, is it true that you can't place an object in orbit unless it starts on the desired orbit path? Or is there a better scientific answer for this problem?