Documents are, quite simply, talking things. They are bits of the material world—clay, stone, animal skin, plant fiber, sand—that we’ve imbued with the ability to speak.
—David M. Levy
University of Washington iSchool
Let me tell you a story about the laws of Moore and Mooers . Once upon a time, in 1965 to be precise, an engineer named Gordon Moore boldly predicted the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits would double every year. In his landmark paper for the journal of Electronics, Moore conjectured:
Integrated circuits will lead to such wonders as home computers—or at least terminals connected to a central computer—automatic controls for automobiles, and personal portable communications equipment. The electronic wristwatch needs only a display to be feasible today.[*]
Though his specific prediction was a bit optimistic—transistor density has doubled roughly every two years—his overall vision has played out remarkably well. The number of transistors per circuit grew from 50 in 1965 to 410 million in 2003 and is fast approaching 1 billion. In the four decades since his paper was published, Gordon founded and grew a rather successful company called Intel; home computers, the Internet, mobile computing (and electronic wristwatches) became reality; and Moore’s Law attained mythic status. Its exponential growth curve has been a favorite prop among techno-evangelists for implying the imminent arrival of virtual reality, artificial ...