Moore’s Law and Technical
JSOCS, Acadia University
Paul E. Ceruzzi
Technology and Culture, July, 2005
Curator of the National Air and Space Museum,
Smithsonian Institution, Wash., DC.
BA, Yale University in 1970 in American studies
PhD, University of Kansas in 1981.
Author and co
author of several books on the history
of computing and aerospace technology.
A History of Modern Computing (second edition,
MIT Press, 2003)
Coeditor of The Internet and American Business (MIT Press,
Gordon E. Moore, 1965, Director of of R&D of
Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corp
In a publication predicted that number of
transistors in ICs would continue to double every
Sometimes closer to 18 months
Has held true for 45 years
Demise has been predicted several times
typically 10 years in advance
Believed to have been coined by Thorstein Veblen
1929), an American sociologist
Presumes that technology drives development of
social structure and cultural values
Follows a predictable, traceable path largely beyond
cultural or political influence
Technology in turn has "effects" on societies that are
inherent, rather than socially conditioned
Sees technology as the basis for all human activity.
SHOT hits the Fan
Society for History of Technology
Promote a softer “social construction” of
Considering technology as part of a larger
spectrum of human activity
Believe the influence of technology differs
based on how much a technology is used by
Examples of Tech. Determinism
PowerPoint: Curse or Wonder
Vint Cerf: “Power corrupts; PowerPoint
Edward Tufte: PP “elevates format over
content, betraying an attitude of
commercialism that turns everything into a
But many would argue that Tufte and Cerf
have failed to persuade us
The classroom: Six years from now
What will it look like?
Do we have a choice?
Bill Gates / Steve Jobs
The makers of TD ???
Open Source: Savior from TD?
Will it come to dominate over MS and Adobe
proprietary products and formats?