Moore’s law isn’t the only rapidly growing technology curve. It has at least two peers. Disk space and communications. These stand on a rich substrate that is equally fecund. A soil of component parts: displays, batteries, memory, semiconductors and of social structures – firms, standards, technologists. These are not the only forces reshaping out future; because above all this the pool of talent that can be brought together to work on any given task is exploding.
This is the plate techtonics that pushes up (and down) continents of new applications and businesses. Meanwhile the differing rates that these elements progress helps to shape the topology of that future.
As we discover better schemes for coordinating the work of huge pools of talent the rate of displacement of which Wikipedia v.s. Britanica is one example will accelerate.
In another example if communications moves much faster than diskspace then we would rapidly reach a state where fetching information was a dominate strategy vs. local storage, caching or synchronization.
This paper: pdf from 2001 by Coffman and Odlyzko has a lot of interesting things to say about all this.
They conclude that: both disk space and network bandwidth are doubling ever year; realtime data (voice and video) won’t provide enough data to become the dominate form of data traffic. So we will continue to cache a lot of data locally. They say plenty of other other interesting things as well.
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