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Monthly Archives: June 2011

From “What Technology Wants” by Kevin Kelly:

Listen to the technology, Carver Mead says. What do the curves say? Imagine it is 1965. You’ve seen the curves Gordon Moore discovered. What if you believed the story they were trying to tell us: that each year, as sure as winter follows summer and as day follows night, computers would get half again better, and half again smaller, and half again cheaper, year after year, and that in 5 decades they would be 30 million times more powerful than they were then. (This is what happened.) If you were sure of that in 1965, or even mostly persuaded, what good fortune you could have harvested! You would have needed no other prophecies, no other predictions, no other details to optimize the coming benefits. As a society, if we just believed that single trajectory of Moore’s, and none other, we would have educated differently, invested differently, prepared more wisely to grasp the amazing powers it would sprout.

30 million times more capable. This is what happened. Worth remembering.

“It was a phenomenon Galileo had noticed before; improvements at the artisanal level passed from workshop to workshop without scholars or princes knowing anything about them, and so it often happened that suddenly workshops everywhere could all make a smaller gear, or a stronger steel.”

Galileo’s Dream, by Kim Stanley Robinson

Will Davies on the deathly Blairification of David Cameron:

These are men of focus groups, Clinton-esque handshakes, drinks parties and interviews on sofas. But they then discover that they control submarines, bombs, and warships. Not only that, but they can send orders to the type of uniformed toffs who they thought had disappeared decades ago, who then send down orders to working class boys to shoot people and get shot at. For a young Tony Blair or David Cameron to discover the military must be like moving into a trendy new condo appartment, and discovering that someone has left a ouija board in one of the cupboards. At first, you shut the door in horror. But eventually you’re going to become curious about what it might do for you.

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