Summary re: Rate of change

From: Philip Goetz (
Date: Thu Feb 16 2006 - 09:46:45 MST

To cut to the chase, and summarize:

On 2/16/06, micah glasser <> wrote:
> I wont even waste my time making the argument - I'm shocked
> that any intelligent and educated person doesn't recognize the obvious
> exponential advancement of technology.

In order to argue for exponential advancement of technology -
let us say, a doubling of output every decade -
you would have to claim that there was 10 times as much change
between 1970 and 2006, as between 1934 and 1970,
and 100 times as much change as between 1888 and 1934.

I don't believe that a plausible argument can be made that
there was more change between 1970 and 2006 than between
1888 and 1934. Maybe someone will be able to make an
argument that is convincing to you. But I think even the
most biased Extropian could not claim, when looking at a
timeline, that there has been three times as much change.
The theory of exponential advancement, with a doubling of
output every decade, requires 100 times as much change.

If you use Moore's law to give your rate of change,
you must claim that there was 2^48 = 2.8x10E14 as much
change between 1970 and 2006 as between 1888 and 1934.
This PROVES, as in Q.E.D., case closed,
that the notion that technological progress proceeds
according to Moore's law, or even a doubling every decade,
is completely absurd.

- Phil

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