NEW TECHNOLOGY 2015 LECTURE L04
Technology evolves by exchange of ideas. After one idea comes another idea, by combining ideas into new ideas. In this lecture we look at the fundamental reason for technological progress and it is similar to that of how species evolve in nature.
Technologies are combinations of other technologies. If you look at a device like a smartphone it is a combination of multiple technologies. Each one of these are combination of other ideas. To make a smartphone thousand of people need to collaborate to create all the parts.
At any given time, with all the knowledge we have, new knowledge can emerge. We call this the adjacent possible. When all the enabling technologies are in place, something becomes possible. It explains why new inventions are invented when they are, and why they are not possible before their time.
Why was the computer invented in the 1940 but not 1940? I turns out that Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace had the idea of a programmable computer 100 years before it became possible to build it.
NEW TECHNOLOGY 2015 LECTURE L03
For the most time of human history, life was local and linear. Local in the way that anything that happened was close by, a least within a walking distance. Linear in the way that your life was the same as your father and your children. Nothing changed.
Just like the evolution of man, technology improvements follow an evolutionary progress. New ideas or products are to begin with immature and fragile with slow improvements. Then the progress accelerates until the products become mature and taken for granted. Then the cycle repeats and a new layer of technology is added to the previous. This process is exponential. One such observation of exponential is Moore’s Law.
Exponential is interesting. We think linear, we plan linear but fail to understand exponential. Exponential grow is in it’s essence simple. Just double in each iteration. The sequence is 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256… and so on. Sounds small, but after 10 iterations we have 1000 fold increase, and after 30 we have billion fold increase. So if computers have doubled the performance every 18 months since Gordon Moore’s 1965 paper where he described the observation that became know as Moore’s Law.
Here is part 1:
And Part 2:
NEW TECHNOLOGY 2015 LECTURE L02
At any given moment it is easy to look back to see how technology has changed over time. At the same time it is difficult to see what transformations are taking place in current moment, and even more difficult to see where things are going.
In the late 19th century a revolution in science took off. It was easy to see the vast number of inventions and entrepreneurial spirit of the time. At the dawn of the 20th century, it seems that everything had been invented. Yet, in the 20th century we saw more innovations and more technologically advanced than in all the history of mankind before that. Never in history have we seen such dramatic changes in the way people live and work.
In this lecture we explore what to make of technology. We define the term we will use in the course. Terms defined are technology, product performance, and innovation to name few.
Slides can be found here:
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