Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A History of the Future of Tech

Technology marches all over every aspect of our lives. Not in a bad way, but still...

I'm going to pose a question or two, see what you think.

In my last post I mentioned that so much has changed so fast. In fact, I'd venture to say that the last 200 years have seen more invention and advance than the rest of human history together, if you list each of our scientific/technological/biological/mathematical/whatever achievements.

This chap along with Shockley Brattain and Bardeen made the first transistors a possibility. He helped develop the first working practical transistor in his early 30's and passed away a few days ago aged 91.

Question 1: Do you reckon Morgan Sparks could have predicted how fast the world would take to his invention and miniaturise it to the point that any 1000 top end laptops made today probably contain more junctions than all the discrete transistors ever manufactured?

Question 2: What was more effective at changing the world, the unleashing of the awesome power of the atom on Nagasaki and Hiroshima in the mid 40's, or the unleashing of the amount of data, information exchange, and communication speed made possible by these four men in the early 50's just a few years later?

Kind of thought-provoking, huh?

Question 3: Do you think that the effects of nanotechnology and genetics/geneticmod and other fields is being similarly underestimated today? And will arrive a whole lot faster than the current electronic technology has?

Okay - another one for you. Given the iPhone and the trend it has started among others, what's left for the mobile phone industry? Keep in mind that mobile phones have all but killed the wristwatch industry to the point where they now have trouble avoiding the red in their figures, and that mobile phones have become more and more like micro versions of tablet and UMPC style machines.

Can I suggest something?

It won't be too long now before biotechs and nanotechs and genetechs experience an epiphany event - when they realise that together, they can create something that far exceeds the humble microchip in capability and capacity. And best of all, they will realise that it can be built right inside the most complex machine we know, ourselves. At that point transistors, microchips, mobile phones, computers, laptops, UMPCs, and the whole slew of devices we are used to seeing today will become as irrelevant and scarce as wristwatches...

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