The Pace of Change - Comments and Ideas

There is some interesting stuff in this article, and I have been set the task of commenting on it for homework.

So I will comment on this.

Yet Moore’s Law says nothing about what people will do with that exponential power. Whether playing ‘Pong’ or ‘Call of Duty’ we still have the same cognitive capacities and number of eyeballs.

I find this to ring true about practically everything that Man, homo sapiens, has ever made. Take a hammer. You can:

  1. Look at it, wondering what on earth it is for

  2. Kill people with it

  3. Use it to make things that help the development of Man

Now apply this concept to computers, and also to the general idea of progress. Even though this is about 3000 years after the first 'hammer' was invented, here are things you can do with a computer, and indeed people are doing with computers:

  1. Stare at it in amazement, wondering what on earth it is for

  2. Use it to communicate with other people

  3. Use it to take down the Pentagon (although not many people can do this)

  4. Make stuff with it - as I have done here, here, here, here,  and here. (Well actually, the list goes on, but I couldn't be bothered to list all of them.)

And therefore, there comes a point when further development of the computer is pointless, because the human mind cannot harness its power (unless just performing mathematical calculations, but that's boring) because eventually computers will become more powerful than the human brain.

But again, how is it possible to measure the power of  the human brain? Another problem with these random statistics appears. These things are abstract, and therefore cannot be measured scientifically against the absolute power of a computer, in GHz, petaflops or amount of RAM.

We come back again to the idea of not being able to harness the enormous amount of power on these new computers predicted by Moore's law. Or maybe - we will be able to harness it, but we won't do anything productive with it.

I'm off to play Happy Wheels. I could do this on a $200 netbook or I could do this on a $25,000 Mac Pro. Or I could do this on a $1,000,000 super-computer. Provided they all have Flash installed.

Goodbye.