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Magic. What would it cost then?

Apple did their big show to sell the next iteration of improvements and enhancements. That raises the usual cheers and jeers as well as a few questions and concerns. One is: Do “THEY” Really Say: “TECHNOLOGICAL Progress Is Slowing Down”? — 

Consider the 256 GB memory iPhone X: Implemented in vacuum tubes in 1957, the transistors in an iPhoneX alone would have:

  • cost 150 trillion of today’s dollars: one and a half times today’s global annual product
  • taken up a hundred-story square building 300 meters high, and 3 kilometers long and wide
  • drawn 150 terawatts of power—30 times the world’s current generating capacity

That’s why it’s magic. You can pull out some feature and extrapolate it back to some phenomena, like cost, but then you realize there’s much more to the equation that made was is possible now not only infeasible but also impossible then. There is a chain of growth in between that cannot be skipped. 

Movies provide an interesting source of study for this awakening. Consider Star Trek with its Tricorder and Communicator and how these compare to the modern smart phone. That comparison not only has to be in functionality but also in user interface. Or look at the display changes from panels of indicator lights to CRT’s to modern flat screens in movies over the years. Then there’s the whole field of fantasy and dreaming about what might be and what happens when that hits actuality of human needs and purposes dealing with stuff that gets the job done versus stuff that gets in the way.

The big deal this time around is facial recognition. That, for some, is a gross intrusion into personal privacy. Technology seems to bring about this idea that one can be anonymous in any social context. Oxymoronic?