Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Note, however, that the second law of thermodynamics was discovered by seeking an upper limit to the efficiency of ideal machines. So fundamental scientific discoveries can be driven by applied physics or even engineering design, and theoretical upper limits can be discovered.

The progress mode you describe is much more common, though.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 3rd, 2006 at 05:02:55 AM EST
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