Friday, July 11, 2008

Perhaps this is another post along the lines of Assorted Thoughts, something I have reread a number of times recently. See the thing is I feel weird today, and maybe this makes me see things in a different light at least at this very moment.

I wish I had an invisible video camera. Next to me, there are 5 women watching a video being displayed on a laptop. While they drink their coffees, the narration describes the organization of the clothes department in some mall. The camera follows the lady pointing at signs and grabbing on to things to buy. She says that the focus is on the inside story, with some unrecognizable white item in her hand. The women stare mostly in silence. Certain words are uttered very frequently in the video, in particular "sign", "order" and "register". From a distance, the laptop screen looks like a bunch of colorful squares, something anybody in kindergarden would be able to draw. Then, the ladies laugh at something that seemed funny to them. They all have a rose in their hands --- the flowers are actually pens. There is western music being played in the background. It only makes the situation weirder.

I look to my right. It's almost completely dark. The cloudy sky has only a tinge of blue left. Vangelis' Rachel's Song sounds in my headphones. I feel the urge to do things, and that there is little time left. And yet, I am not in the mood to push today. It should be considered normal, but I find it difficult to accept. I also feel the growing need to leave, as if changing locations was the magic incantation I needed right now. But where should I go next?

I whistle for a bit. I lose interest in that too.

While I look at the ladies do some social game of "please pay attention to me" among themselves, I remember that today I read an article about memristors. There is a photo in the Wikipedia showing a memory circuit in which circuit lines 50 nm thick have been etched. The caption says the lines are 150 atoms wide. A one atom thick line would be 0.3 nm. Intel is about to roll out chips fabricated with a 32 nm process. We're only a factor of 100 away from the end of Moore's Law as far as the miniaturization of current technology circuits is concerned. At a duplication every 18 months, that's about 10 years' worth. I suspect we will hit the wall earlier than that. One of two things are needed: a breakthrough, or a rationalization of what do we spend electricity to figure out.

Which brings me to the ladies. Power from non renewable sources spent to talk about signs, orders, registers, things to buy, the inside story of colorful kindergarden squares... and to manufacture plastic pens in the shape of a rose. Such a sorry state of affairs.



jarober said...

Deciding that certain activities have no value, and are a waste of "scarce resources" is the fast road to hell. Imagine how many things you do in a day that many people would classify as a waste of time - now ponder who gets to pick which "wasteful" activities should be permitted, and which banned...

Andres said...


Read your blog, look in the mirror. :).