Nobel Prize for iPod

I think what is most interesting about today’s Nobel prize in physics is how quickly the discovery of a new effect, giant magneto-resistance, led to real devices including the iPod.  From the totally unknown to the utterly familiar in less than twenty years.  The world really is speeding up.

The Nobel Prize Foundation has a very nice write-up of giant magneto-resistance and its applications.

Comments

I'm sorry to have to say this, Alex, but... the correct use of grammar and punctuation is a form of signaling. There are people who will distrust your arguments merely because they reason that imprecise writers are probably also imprecise thinkers. Don't allow your good ideas to be lost this way.

"I'm sorry to have to say this, Alex, but... the correct use of grammar and punctuation is a form of signaling. There are people who will distrust your arguments merely because they reason that imprecise writers are probably also imprecise thinkers. Don't allow your good ideas to be lost this way."

Then there are people who will distrust Alex merely for being Canadian (trust me, it's tempting.) Personally, I distrust people who distrust others for petty and irrelevant reasons. They can't be trusted to focus on what's important.

Of course, as flash memory becomes cheaper, Apple is phasing out hard-disk based iPods... I think the bigger story is how something like Google couldn't exist without cheap, dense hard drives.

I'm with Ak Mike.

The rate of change from 1890 to 1940 was probably the biggest ever, and makes current times look like just fiddling around the edges.

You had people going from the stone age to the nuclear age in one lifetime. It was perfectly possible for someone to be an Indian Warrior at Little Bighorn as a teenager, and end up working at a nuclear reactor or computer centre or with jet aircraft.

Wyatt Earp ended up making movies about himself.

On the other side of the world, Africa and New Guinea had entire peoples, not just tribes but settled farming cultures covering hundreds of tribes, that had never known an outside world. Within decades they had World War 2 being fought through their villages.

The only comparable time was the early 16th century. A man could go crusading as a youngster and end up living on a cattle ranch in california.

And that was another fundamental scientific discovery. A basic discovery in the science of geography (hey, if you go WEST you find a big, unexploited land!) lead, not just to new products, but to entire new Empires within a couple of decades.

Apple pie hasn't changed in at least 100 years, you fool!

Anon - massive amounts of information have flowed electronically for generations. Businesses, government, and universities have enjoyed high bandwidth data transmission for thirty or forty years at least.

By contrast, the change from two weeks to get any information at all across the Atlantic to less than a second revolutionized the world far more profoundly, and in a very short time, than anything we or our parents have experienced.

There has been less change in our lifetimes than there was in our parents' lifetimes, and less in their lifetimes than in our grandparents'.

We went from the machine-powered transport (the steamboat) in 1807 to the moon in 1969. Change has slowed down dramatically in my lifetime.

The world really is speeding up but the future still will not come fast enough. I'm still waiting for the AMD quad core processors, Spore, and Duke Nukem Forever. Joke aside technology is advancing at a crazy pace. I remember about five years ago when I got my first gaming computer. It had a 20GB hard drive. 1000GB hard drives have been released recently. Not so long ago we looked at the blocky graphics of games like Final Fantasy VII and now we look at ultra realistic games like Crysis and Final Fantasy XIII. Where will it end? Nanotech and stem cells are on the horizon. In 50 years we may very well be cyborgs who knows. Until then I guess I'll have to deal with dial-up.

HistoryAware: 12 years old in 1876 is 78 years old in 1944. Hardly likely to be a test pilot or chief scientist, could possibly be night watchman or senior janitor.

My 70 year old father is still a working farmer.

More generally, we seem to have two opposed camps, those convinced change is slowing down, and those convinced it's speeding up.

This is wierd.

i like it

Comments for this post are closed