"If you want to be able to predict the future.....
You'd best be capable of INVENTING it!"
That was the way it was when we lived in a wide-open XXth Century, The American Century. Now, the opportunities seem to be dwindling for US. China just won't be reverse engineering, they will soon be able to create and innovate.
How do we take back the future and dominate the world of ideas, technology, and science?
Or have we gotten too fat and lazy and comfortable to push the frontiers!
Your "snapshot" is absolutely correct. IF, however, the XXIst Century is going to be THE Chinese Century, we might be sending American students to China for higher and graduate studies before the century is over.
The Chinese are still trying to get their act together; they send their students here to learn and to return to Xian to teach and apply their skills and wisdom. If youse are trying to supplant the best, youse go to the best and pick their brains before o'er-leaping them. All IMHO.
Never underestimate American resilency, Ace, GOP obstructionism notwithstanding. Education holds the key to create and innovate, it is conerstone that differentiates us from 3rd world nations. I find it unfortunate that the GOP has embarked on campaign to 'dumb down" America in order to sustain viability. Highly educated Americans tend to overwhelminglybe Democrats, all studies show.
Dumbing down to sustain viability does not compute.
IF youse believes the latest world-wide test scores for comparable students, we have fallen as those ambitious nations which understand the value of education and its relationship to math, engineering, science, technology, and wealth are surpassing US.
"Resiliancy" connotes survival; we needs scientific breakthroughs, technology for development, and excellence to become leaders, competitors, and winners. We may still have CalTech and MIT, but Bell Labs is gone. We are working on genomics and advanced medical applications, but people are going to Thailand for medico-tourism treatments and Mexico and Canada for better pricing.
Maybe we can turn the future our way again, but I don't see any Edisons or Jobs on deck. As I read it, corporate America is happy to sit on its treasure hoard for several TRILLIONS of bux rather than to venture into the unusual to make important, wealth-producing discoveries. All IMHO.