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February 16, 2013

TechCrunch — February 16, 2013 | Jon Evans

This is a summary. Read original article in full here.

For 50 years now Moore’s Law has been (to oversimplify) doubling computing power every two years. People like Ray Kurzweil and Vernor Vinge look at that astonishing history of nonstop exponential growth and predict a technological singularity within our lifetimes.

Kurzweil claims that whenever technology hits a limit, “a paradigm shift (i.e., a fundamental change in the approach) occurs, which enables exponential growth to continue.” That’s not much more than a convenient article of faith. As Peter Thiel points out, “technological progress has fallen short in many domains. Consider the most literal instance of non-acceleration: We are no longer moving faster. The centuries-long acceleration of travel speeds … reversed with the decommissioning of the Concorde in 2003.” [...]