Thursday, January 26, 2017
One of the hardest things for the human mind to grasp is the power of exponential growth in anything - what happens when something keeps doubling or tripling or quadrupling over many years and just how big the numbers can get. So whenever Intel's CEO, Brian Krzanich, tries to explain the impact of Moore's law - what happens when you keep doubling the power of microchips every two years for fifty years - he uses this example: if you took Intel's first generation microchip from 1971, the 4004, and the latest chip Intel has on the market today, the sixth generation Intel Core processor, you will see that Intel's latest chip offers 3,500 times more performance, is 90,000 times more energy efficient, and is about 60,000 times lower in cost. To put it more vividly, Intel engineers did a rough calculation of what would happen had a 1971 Volkswagon Beetle improved at the same rate as microchips did under Moore's law.
These are the numbers: Today, that Beetle would be about to go about three hundred thousand miles per hour. It would get two million miles per gallon of gas, and it would cost four cents!
-Thomas L. Friedman, Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide To Thriving In The Age Of Acceleration
I own two Friedman books. The first purchased, the second a gift. After the second, I was fairly certain that there would likely be no more Friedman book's in my library. Then he goes and sticks the word "Optimist's" in the book's title. Wavering here. Any advice?