[extropy-chat] Inside Vs. Outside Forecasts

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Wed Oct 12 14:55:31 UTC 2005

On Wed, Oct 12, 2005 at 07:21:25AM -0700, Robert J. Bradbury wrote:

> On Wed, 12 Oct 2005, Dirk Bruere wrote:
> > I don't think so, except in very specific predictions.
> > The two key Transhumanist predictions, agreed by both insiders and outsiders
> > is that computing power will continue along a steepening exponential curve
> > for at least two more decades;
> The "agreement" doesn't mean that they are right.  You have about 4, maybe 5

There is no agreement at all. Even using the sufficiently biased to be useless 
SPEC CINT metric the data does not look so very good:

Real-world application benchmarks are even worse than this synthetic
(a single sub-benchmark of an obsoleted benchmark suite) metric, but
somewhat more difficult to come by. 

COTS clusters can buffer this because price/performance ratio, but only
for well-scaling massively parallel applications. You're golden if you're
one of those.

> generations left in terms of current processes (go read the ITRS/SEMATECH
> roadmap reports).  Then things are going to have to shift significantly.
> So I would say you have a decade -- maybe 15 years.

All hinges on whether molecular electronics can continue where
semiconductor photolithography has bitten the dust, and offer us 
self-assembly, especially in 3d. Whether this will happen on-track,
is anybody's guess.
> > and that the bio sciences are entering the
> > steep part of exponential growth similar to computer tech circa 1975 (or
> > thereabouts).
> Not "quite" so.  Though semi-industry evolution has largely been
> one of a continual refinement of a basic process, bio-industry
> evolution has required significant invention of new methods for
> the significant advancements.  The rates of advancement do
> not compare well.  (One can be viewed as relatively continuous
> while the other is more discontinuous.)

Btw, welcome back, Robert. You were sorely missed.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a>
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820            http://www.leitl.org
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