It was day TWO of my personal Home Alone and I got a lot done.
I caught up on some reading, some personal accounting and got my inbox near zero. I also got in a long ride early this morning.
Here I am with my only housemate:
Tonight I am catching up on my favorite reads trying to get my longer term thinking cap on.
Andy Kessler had another good piece in the Wall Street Journal titled ‘The Chip That Changed The World‘.
It has been 60 years since what Andy calls, the ‘big bend’. In 1958, Jack St. Clair Kilby invented the integrated circuit.
In 1965 Fairchild research chief Gordon Moore wrote a now-famous article for Electronics magazine, “Cramming More Components Onto Integrated Circuits.” Today known as Moore’s Law, the article’s thesis was that chips would double in density every 18 to 24 months. By 1969, the 3101 64-bit memory chip shipped at $1 a bit. We’ve come a long way. Your iPhone probably has a trillion bits at picocents a bit. Kilby received the Nobel Physics Prize in 2000 and credited Noyce, who had died a decade earlier, in his acceptance speech. You have to wonder what took the Nobel Committee so long.
Integrated circuits are the greatest invention since fire—or maybe indoor plumbing. The world would be unrecognizable without them. They have bent the curve of history, influencing the economy, government and general human flourishing. The productivity unleashed from silicon computing power disrupted or destroyed everything in its path: retail, music, finance, advertising, travel, manufacturing, health care, energy. It’s hard to find anything Kilby’s invention hasn’t changed.
Andy has been a great investor and writer for a very long time. If he is worried about ‘Now What’, I will worry about it.
Now what? Despite the routine media funeral for Moore’s Law, it’s not dead yet. But it is old. We are starting to count finicky atoms. Intel and Samsung are making chips with 7-nanometer features, and silicon atoms are 0.2 nanometer wide. Atoms and the speed of light are hard limits. Three-dimensional structures might add time. There are even lab demos of nanotechnologies spraying on integrated circuits. Still, I give Moore’s Law another decade.
Brace yourself. When Moore’s Law finally gives up the ghost, productivity and economic growth will roll over too—unless. The world needs another Great Bend, another Kilbyesque warp in the cosmos, to drive the economy.
Andy has some ideas about a next big bend which include quantum computing and biocomputing. Have a read of his article I linked to above.
In the meantime, speculators seem to care a lot about cannabis. I am calling it Moore’s Law For Seeds… but with more paranoia.
This is a good piece from Visual Capitalist on Cannabis titled ‘The Story Of Cannabis: What Investors Need to Know.’
Have a great week everyone.
Also published on Medium.