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Let us begin by explaining exactly what Moore's Law is for those people who are unfamiliar. Almost 50 years ago (back in 1965) an Intel executive by the name of David House came up with Moore's Law. The law, named after Intel cofounder Gordon Moore, states that the number of transistors that can fit on a computer chip will double approximately every 18 months. What this means is that about every 2 years the processing power of computer chips double while at the same time becoming less expensive and smaller.
What Technology Wants, it has placed "itself in the middle of everything we do, see, hear, and make. Technology has permeated eating, romance, sex, child rearing, education, death." Few people would debate this point.
Any specific exponential growth will inevitably smooth out into a typical S-shaped curve. This is the archetypal pattern of growth: After a slow ramp-up, gains take off straight up like a rocket, and then after a long run level out slowly.So Moore's Law has to end then. After all, eventually we have to reach a point where we will be unable to fit any more transistors on a computer chip. It can't go on forever? Can it?
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via: Carpe Nano
This is the latest version of Moore's Law. Not everyone believes that Moore's Law stays consistently growing (or shrinking, as the case may be) at a steady rate of 50% per year. Many now believe that Moore's Law is exponential. So while technology used to become cheaper, faster, better at a rate of 50% every 18 months, this rate of change and growth will gradually get increasingly faster. In fact, if you were to look at a graph which charts the rate of change over time it begins so slowly that the line appears to be horizontal. Of course it isn't; it's just changing and speeding up so slowly that it appears to be barely moving. However, it gradually picks up speed eventually getting to a point where the rate of change is so fast that the line on the graph looks almost completely vertical. When Gordon Moore originally talked about his law we were at the point when the line looks horizontal. As Ray Kurzweil explains,
The acceleration of paradigm shift (the rate at which we change fundamental technical approaches) as well as the exponential growth of the capacity of information technology are both beginning to reach the 'knee of the curve,' which is the stage at which an exponential trend becomes noticeable. Shortly after this stage, the trend quickly becomes explosive. Before the middle of this century, the growth rates of our technology - which will be indistinguishable from ourselves - will be so steep as to appear essentially vertical. From strictly mathematical perspective, the growth rates will still be finite but so extreme that the changes they bring about will appear to rupture the fabric of human history.There are still many people however, that disagree with this. Kurzweil explains this dissension in his viewpoint.; first by stating,
People intuitively assume that the current rate of progress will continue for future periods. Even for those who have been around long enough to experience how the pace of change increases over time, unexamined intuition leaves one with the impression that change occurs at the same rate that we have experienced most recentlyThat explanation only applies to people who really don't follow trends in technology. What about for the people who do? Kurzweil goes on to say,
Scientists are trained to be skeptical, to speak cautiously of current research goals, and to rarely speculate beyond the current generation of scientific pursuit. This may have been a satisfactory approach when a generation of science and technology lasted longer than a human generation, but it does not serve society's interests now that a generation of scientific and technological progress comprises only a few years.Kurzweil argues that
Most long-range forecasts of what is technically feasible in future time periods dramatically underestimate the power of future developments because they are based on what I call the 'intuitive linear' view of history rather than the 'historical exponential view. My models show that we are doubling the paradigm-shift rate every decade. . . Thus the twentieth century was gradually speeding up to today's rate of progress; its achievements, therefore, were equivalent to about twenty years of progress at the rate in 2000. We'll make another twenty years of progress in just fourteen years (by 2014), and then do the same again in only seven years. To express this another way, we won't experience one hundred years of technological advance in the twenty-first century; we will witness on the order of twenty thousand years of progress (again, when measured by today's rate of progress), or about one thousand times greater than what was achieved in the twentieth century.
Students are taught how to use an iPad, how to use an iPod touch, or how to use a specific application. That's great for now. But what happens when these same students graduate college and iPods and iPads give way to some new devices?And here in lies the problem with education. Walk into most any classroom and you will find students doing very traditional work: reading, writing, math, etc. Sure sometimes you will find kids using laptops, iPads, or smartphones. But then again what are they using theses devices for? Very traditional work: reading, writing, math, etc. Most language arts teachers require their students to type a paper or do research. Yet how many of these same teachers actually teach their students how to type or how to research using the Internet? Few. Usually because most teachers assume that since this generation of students grew up with these devices, they automatically know how to use them. Big mistake!
On top of this, the most prominent reason school districts limit the amount of technology being used is the fear of what students will do with it. Districts are so terrified that students will use technology to access pornography, meet sexual predators, or bully their peers. So what is their solution? Limit the students' access to technology. There is one major problem with this approach. Just because the school doesn't allow the students to use technology doesn't mean they do not have access. Any student can do any of the things at home, at a friends house, or even by going to public libraries. Wouldn't a better approach be to teach students about the dangers of technology so they can properly protect themselves? After all, this is why schools began teaching sex education.
|Precautionary Principle (click to enlarge)|
Monmouth University with an IT minor got a job. That is absolutely amazing considering our present economy. And if Kurzweil is correct then he says, "we'll see the equivalent of a century of progress - at today's rate - in only twenty-five calendar years" (and we believe he is), then it is only going to get worse.
Think about all the information we gave you concerning Moore's Law. As we already stated, according to Kurzweil, "We'll make another twenty years of progress in just fourteen years (by 2014), and then do the same again in only seven years." So basically what Kurzweil is attesting is that a student who enters first grade this upcoming school year, September 2012, and finishes college in the typical 16 years, graduating in 2028, will see the world progress the equivalent of roughly 80 years.
Whether you agree with Kurzweil's theories or not, people today would be hard pressed to deny that "change is accelerating even within our own lifetimes. Novelty arrives in a flash (compared to earlier), and there seems to be a shorter and shorter interval between novel changes." (Kelly) So even if Kurzweil is off, we know that the rate of change is increasing exponentially. Moore's Law tells us things are only going to keep getting increasingly worse. So if schools do not pick up the pace at which they adapt, our students are in a load of trouble. Yet our school system seems to be mired in the past.