Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Does anybody notice anything weird going on here?

Scenario A: Transport in Cities

In 1951 New York city traffic looked like this:

And two generations later in 2011 it looked like this

Scenario B:  Electronic Transport

In 1951 a computer looked like this:

And in 2011 it looked like this:

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What's the point?

To get a grip on this striking comparison, a first step might usefully be to take note of the fact while Scenario A has steadily declined world-wide over the last two generations, Scenario B has seen an unimaginable increase in efficiency and sheer power on the order of trillions of times.

Now some may conclude that this difference is a result of the fact that we have not applied enough technology to Scenario A.  I would beg to differ. It is because we have not applied enough brains.

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  1. Maybe there is another more important precondition to both developments to drivers as they have done: people cannot be compressed by any means (they are still 1.8 m tall and weighing some 70-90 kgs each); while information on data carriers has compressed by a factor 10^6 or 10^9. The main innovation to help solve the people transport issue seems to use more appropriate vehicles, thus replace with a bicycle most of the cars in the picture, which is not so much using a huge amount of brains by a few whiz kids, but just a little bit by the billions!

    All the best,


  2. @Paul
    Of course, especially when using private motor vehicles, the majority of space used for transport is not actually for humans. Walking, mass-transit, bicycles, etc, are all vastly more space-efficient...


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