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"This may be the single most fascinating
newsletter there is on technology and its impact on our future, both
pragmatically and philosophically.
This is not a news-blurb newsletter, though it is newsy -- it is
primarily a thinking personí»s paradise and playground."
Windows Support Center
Where We're Heading
I've been writing for many years that the only constant is change
-- yet with
these changes come undreamed-of opportunities. And I'm excited about the incredible
changes and opportunities that we have ahead of us, such as:
- How computing power is set to explode through advances in traditional
semiconductor technology, molecular computing, quantum computing, DNA computing,
and in ways we have yet to consider;
- How storage densities and fiber bandwidth are improving so fast that they
leave the vaunted Moore's Law in the dust;
- How nanotechnology is preparing the way to change the very nature of the
"things" around us;
- And many more.
And most importantly, of what happens as all of these advances "come
together," synergistically giving us far more than the "mere" sum
of the parts.
You may be familiar with the concept of the "Space Elevator" that was
popularized by science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke
Basically, this is an incredibly strong cable that goes from the surface of
the earth to a space station in geosynchronous orbit, with elevators running up
and down. Easy and (comparatively inexpensive) access to orbit.
When Clarke proposed this "ridiculous" concept in 1979 in The Fountains of
Paradise, it was clearly a fanciful idea -- no material on Earth was strong
enough to build such a cable. But now we find that the almost
accidentally-discovered carbon nanotubes are far stronger than steel -- quite
strong enough to produce just such a cable (once, that is, we figure out how to
join these immensely tiny nanotubes into a long cable.)
consider another new carbon nanotube development -- that under just the right
conditions, these tiny, strong fibers turn into semiconductors, forming the
basis for transistors similar to, although far smaller than, the transistors
that form the core of today's silicon chips!
Could we end up with cables one hundred times stronger than steel, that are
also innately computing devices?!? Could semiconducting carbon nanotubes also
be built into common building materials, in the way that glass fibers form
fiberglass, creating "active" floors and walls? If so, perhaps the terms "smart
house" and "intelligent office" will take on a whole new meaning...!
And this is just one hint of how the synergy between a growing number
of fields is likely to change just about everything.
So, I hope you will join me on this fascinating journey, as the convergence
of computing, communications, content, telecommunications, and the physical and
medical sciences boldly take us where we've never been before. It's going to be
a fascinating, if more than occasionally an unnerving journey, but one which we
and our businesses don't dare ignore, least we get quickly left behind!
It's not just that Convergence is moving quickly, but that the RATE at which
it's changing is accelerating! That's double-exponential growth. And it will
surely change all the rules.
Welcome to the home of The
Harrow Technology Report. Remember, click here to
sign-up!, and together, we'll explore where
these things lead!