I just watched Ray Kurzweil’s talk, “A university for the coming singularity“, where he discussed information technology’s growth being a series of S-curves that are exponential instead of linear. Moore’s Law, for example, is one such exponential trend that would fit into an S-curve. Once Moore’s Law ends (apparently around 2020, says Kurzweil), it will be replaced by another paradigm. Perhaps one governing green technology?
And speaking of green technology, this segment especially pumped me up:
…we’re all concerned about energy and the environment. Well, this is a logarithmic graph. This represents a smooth doubling, every two years, of the amount of solar energy we’re creating. Particularly as we’re now applying nanotechnology, a form of information technology, to solar panels. And we’re only eight doublings away from it meeting 100 percent of our energy needs. And there is 10 thousand times more sunlight than we need.
Eight doublings, where a doubling occurs ever two years. So in ten years, according to Kurzweil, solar harvesting technologies could be efficient enough to make all the energy we need.
On a side note, there was an article today on Techmeme that was also positively-pumping: “Could this be the end of electric power cords?” by David Colker from the LA Times. Colker writes about how the company WiTricity has been working on technology to send wireless electrical power to remote devices.
This technology is based on the work of MIT physicist Marin Soljacic, who spoke at a TEDGlobal conference in Oxford, UK. According to Colker, the technology “works on something called resonant magnetic coupling and is safe for humans. And on an environmental note, [WiTricity CEO Eric Giler] said it could not only eliminate power cords but also tons of batteries used yearly to power household devices.”
Great strides in green technology. Enough solar power to relinquish the need for fossil fuels. And all happening in the next decade or so. Oh man.
Good times are coming!