dumb-ass computers


Gerald Moore observed in 1965 that the number of transistors that could be cheaply placed on an integrated circuit tended to double every two years, a prediction that has held true since and has been called Moore’s law. Roughly speaking, computational processing power has grown at the same rate. While people have repeatedly predicted its end, the exponential growth has remained stunning: computers are literally a million times more powerful than they were forty years ago. This has brought us Google and the iPhone, but it has not brought us HAL 9000. So what does the future hold? There are two pathways going forward. First, we will bring ourselves to computers. The small- and large-scale convenience and efficiency of storing more and more parts of our lives online will increase the hold that formal ontologies have on us. They will be constructed by governments, by corporations, and by us in unequal measure, and there will be both implicit and explicit battles over how these ontologies are managed.

more from David Auerbach at n+1 here.