Hintjens Pieter - Culture and empire

Author : Hintjens Pieter
Title : Culture and empire Digital revolution
Year : 2013

Link download : Hintjens_Pieter_-_Culture_and_empire.zip

Cost Gravity : The Endless Fall to Free. For fifty years, Moore's Law has reliably predicted the exponential upward trend of our silicon future. Yet every now and then, technology tabloids warn that Moore's Law is about to end. It can't last, we're told, and when it ends, the future will fall into darkness and uncertainty. Yet inevitably and without fail, scientists find yet another way to extend it, and we collectively sigh in relief. Moore's Law isn't a mythical beast that magically materialized in 1965 and threatens to unpredictably vanish at any moment. In fact, it's part of a broader ancient mechanism that has no intention of stopping. This mechanism, which I call cost gravity, pulls down the price of technology by about half every two years. Cost gravity affects our entire human world. It is inevitable and unstoppable, driven by the spread of information and knowledge. Every two years, any given technology becomes twice as available at half the cost, and twice as powerful with half the bulk. Look around and observe that many old (and previously expensive and large) technologies are effectively free today, except for the influences of other ancient forces such as natural resources and friction. Cost gravity has existed and will exist as long as life itself. Superficially, technology is a human invention. Broadly, however, all life is information-based and therefore subject to cost gravity. Take bacteria, for example. Bacteria are highly advanced life forms that evolve rapidly to survive in almost any condition. Bacteria share their genes in the way open source programmers share their code. Antibiotic resistance is scary, not because there's one colony of resistant bacteria somewhere, rather because these genes can pass to other bacteria that need them. Bacteria have recently been found in the inhospitably frozen Antarctic. Genetic information flows through the bacterial world just like knowledge flows through the human world. Or consider a living cell, which has more moving parts than a Boeing 777 and is smaller than a micron. Cells are self-healing, self-reproducing, and self-organizing. You might be tempted to invoke the supernatural to explain such sophistication. The real answer is that cells represent three-and-a-half billion years of cost gravity at work. In human society, cost gravity makes expensive technologies into cheap ones. The curves are exponential: price falls to zero, power rises to infinity. Cost gravity does more than explain why so many things are more affordable than ever before; it provides a context for human history. Cost gravity takes emperors' toys and turns them into commoners' tools, and as it does this, it drives profound social, economic, and political change. ...

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