Re: Deep Blue colmun in TIME, May 19th

Michael Lorrey (
Wed, 25 Jun 1997 11:34:12 -0400

Carl Feynman wrote:
> At 03:03 PM 6/24/97 -0400, Michael Lorrey wrote:
> >Any computer professional has heard of Moore's Law, first formulated by one
> of the founder's of Intel back in 1969. Moore's Law, based on data up to
> that date and proven to still be true today,
> Moore's law is a rule of thumb, not a law of nature. There have been other
> periods of exponential growth in technological capacity, and they all came
> to an end, usually without anyone realizing in advance that they were about
> to.

Usually it was politically imposed stagnation by reactionaries holding
progress hostage to force change or to merely maintain the status quo.
Technology has no limits save c.
> Commercial air transport improved from 1903 to 1970 at an exponential clip,
> and has made essentially no progress since. Nobody had any idea in 1970
> that progress was over. If we were still on that curve, we'd have
> commercial trips to the moon. The movie '2001' was a plausible
> extrapolation at the time.

And if commercial supersonic flight were not illegal over continental
landmasses, and the fuel embargo had not occured, we would still be on
that curve. It was not a matter of technology. In fact, if you count our
autonomous spaceflight technology, we are still on the curve. The
Voyager and Galileo probes have acheived speeds over 100,000 mph. The
only reason why men are not on those trips is that our risk averse and
security happy society values free lunches for unmotivated ignoramuses
more than exploring the universe.
> What makes me confident that AI-level processing power is possible is that
> (a) nature does it, and (b) Drexler has provided a carefully-worked analysis
> of how it could be built. The timing could be either faster or slower than
> Moore's law suggests. I would not be terribly surprised if economically
> feasible semiconductor technology were to bog down after one or two more
> chip generations. The maximum speed of a Pentium might be 500 MHz for
> decades, until someone develops a breakthrough technology.

Sure there may by a maximum speed for that particular computer
technology, but there is no reason other technologies will not surpass
the Pentium chip as it becomes outmoded by economics. The present
progress for quantum computing is an excellent indication that even
greater speeds will be continuously attained.
> --CarlF
> PS. You know, I seem to be the gloomy gus on this list, always pointing out
> problems with other people's posts and carping about limits. In any other
> group, I come across as a raving technological optimist.

Nay, you merely help us reason out more convincing arguments.

			Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------		Inventor of the Lorrey Drive

Mikey's Animatronic Factory My Own Nuclear Espionage Agency (MONEA) MIKEYMAS(tm): The New Internet Holiday Transhumans of New Hampshire (>HNH) ------------------------------------------------------------ #!/usr/local/bin/perl-0777---export-a-crypto-system-sig-RC4-3-lines-PERL @k=unpack('C*',pack('H*',shift));for(@t=@s=0..255){$y=($k[$_%@k]+$s[$x=$_ ]+$y)%256;&S}$x=$y=0;for(unpack('C*',<>)){$x++;$y=($s[$x%=256]+$y)%256; &S;print pack(C,$_^=$s[($s[$x]+$s[$y])%256])}sub S{@s[$x,$y]=@s[$y,$x]}