Monday, December 12, 2005

Among Makers of Memory Chips for Gadgets, Fierce Scrum Takes Shape - New York Times

"Chang-Gyu Hwang, chief executive of Samsung's chip business, caused some eyebrows to rise in skepticism in September when he predicted that the chips would soon hold enough data to make hard-disk drives obsolete, paving the way for lighter, thinner and tougher laptop computers."

Among Makers of Memory Chips for Gadgets, Fierce Scrum Takes Shape - New York Times

Intuitively it seems to me that storage space could hit the point of true ridiculousness well before processing speed. It's something where you can go along flipping bits, and just extend endless rows of them, each the same as the next. I feel like we're likely to hit upon storage technologies that will really give us endless amounts of storage. That we're going to find them quicker than we expect.

The possibility of really recording everything on the planet will change everything. For instance, it will create a radically different way of doing science. If you have sufficient data, you can do "experiments" by going to millions of recorded situations and comparing statistically what happened. Here's an example: Someone wants to know why they get acne, and they have a brand new state of the art Life Recorder that's been recording. Some people get acne when they eat chocolate, so that's one theory-- "hey, computer, create a chart with a line made by going through all of the pictures of my face and counting how much acne I have, OK now put a mark each time I ate chocolate."

We'll be able to finally actually study all of the species on Earth. We can send out robots that specialize in studying particular species. A robot for a particular kind of ant would spend hours and hours following its ants around, recording many thousands of hours of video of ants eating different things, crawling over different surfaces, responding to different events.

The mysteries of life won't be so mysterious. There will be mysteries, sure, but not the ones we're used to. Not the usual human ones. You can keep secrets in a waking world, but humans are too giant to keep secret. All of the echoes of our actions will be plain as day in these new oceans of information.



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