Saturday, April 04, 2009

Is technology limitless?

I was recently thinking about this routine we all go through of reading the Sunday circular in the paper with the sales and all the things at BestBuy that we look at and think "one day." It seems to be never ending and it made me think... are there boundaries and limits? So I began to theorize and wax intellectual in my own mind and share with you, another set of musings.

Everything has a boundary eventually although I believe that, in terms of technology, it's a long time before we find it. The human body can only do so much, electricity only travels so fast, things can get only so small. Nothing is limitless - if it was, there wouldn't be a little topic called Physics which studies the physical laws of the universe that govern us.

If I think about what has changed in the past 25 years since I got my first computer I can't imagine anything growing because the leaps and bounds so far have been astonishing. It seems like we've come such a long way. However, I can only imagine the pace will speed up. Was it about 10 years ago that the PentiumIII chip came out and was it about 4 years ago that dual core chips arrived on the scene and now I have a quad-core and there's even an 8 core processor. The time between innovations is shrinking allowing for more productivity in less time. It is quite amazing.

Unfortunately greed has it's grubby little mitts in the process (this coming from a capitalist at heart). Money dictates innovation in this world which is a problem. Look at computers these days. They are moving faster than the consumer needs (in terms of updates). Theorists figure out "we can do this" and manufacturers say "go for it, if you can do it, we can sell it" and they put this new thing on every box that goes out the door. Software developers say "if they're putting it in there, let's write our software to make use of it." and the poor consumer has to run out and update all of his stuff every 9 minutes to accommodate this. And they are basically stealing from us. Robbing us of the opportunity to get our true money's worth out of these machines or let us use these items to their fullest potential because we're so busy hopping from one foot to the next trying to keep up, we miss out on the moment and what we're doing.

The technology industry should be renamed "The grandeur that graft built" and don't even start me on the financial ramifications to the ever-broke consumer who's putting the wife's engagement ring in hock so they can update Little Johnny's PC so he can keep up in school. It's a vicious catch-22 of consumers buying so manufacturers continue to manufacture and manufacturers continuing so there's something to buy and along we go.

Now, I'm in technology by trade and I love it. I think it's nearly boundless and in theory it's just incredible. It's the current business model that pushes the technology sector that I can't stand.

No comments: