Why skyscrapers are so short – Works in Progress
There’s a pattern that we frequently see in the development of a new technology. Initially, the practical functionality is limited by the technology itself – what’s built and used is close to the limit of what the technology is physically capable of doing. As the technology develops and its capabilities improve, there’s a divergence between what a technology can physically do and what it can economically do, and you begin to see commercialized versions that have lower performance but are more affordable. Then, as people begin to build within this envelope of economic possibility, capability tends to get further constrained by legal restrictions, especially if the new technology has any (real or perceived) negative externalities.