Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Why our 75 year social security projections are worse than worthless | 02/01/2005 | HP plans gala retirement party for Moore's Law

Bush's social security "crisis" is based on the 75 year projection for social security revenues and costs. Then there's this ...
Just as the transistor replaced the vacuum tube, so will the 'crossbar latch' replace the transistor. That's what Hewlett-Packard is claiming in a bit of research published today in the Journal of Applied Physics. Just a single layer of molecules thick, the latch is essentially an electronic switch that can flip a binary 0 to a 1 and vice versa, one of three basic operations that make up the primary logic of a computer circuit. For an industry driven to build ever smaller devices with more computing power, the crossbar latch could be the breakthrough that sidesteps Moore's Law and leads to computers that are far smaller and more powerful than those today. 'This is the final piece of the puzzle for building a molecular computer,' said Phil Kuekes, senior computer architect and primary inventor at HP's Quantum Science Research unit.
Quantum computing experiments are progressing faster than predicted. Molecular computing projects are progressing equally quickly. The Progeria gene has been isolated. Nanotech surfaces allow paintable solar energy conversion. Human-animal hybrids are being experimented with. High school students will, within 10-15 years, be able to synthesize new fused viruses. Heck, physicists are just starting to figure out what dark matter and dark energy might be -- and they constitute most of our universe.

And meanwhile, we're declaring a crisis based on 75 year projections in social security.

Please. Let's get real. We're on a raging rapid that's heading over a cliff. We have no bloody idea what's going to happen on the other side. It might be a nice calm pool. It might be a thousand feet of rock. It might be just slightly faster rapids (I doubt it). A 75 year projection is worse than worthless because it's a pointless distraction.

We ought to focus on battening the hatches, on strengthening our safety nets and reinforcing our social structures and communities, on helping Africa to salvage itself and on reducing misery and hatred in the cesspools of the earth (ok, so the whole earth is by some measures a cesspool, but I'm speaking relatively here). The better we prepare our raft, and the more flexible it is, the more likely we are to make it over the edge. Ready or not, we're going there. Your children are on the raft.

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