12) The Eternal Question


Shortly before the dot com crash I went to a random technology seminar. I don’t remember anything about the gathering except the clarity of a single question:

Take as a given Moore’s law. Processing power doubles every 18 months. More recently, hard disk technology has been doubling every 12 months. Now, networking technology is poised to start making the same kinds of gains.

So consider the future. Compared to our current technology, the future will have infinite processing, infinite storage and infinite bandwidth. What does that mean? What would you do with it?

Whatever that is… *IS* the future.

Cold shivers still run up and down my spine when I think about the lucidity and gravity of that single question. I have goosebumps now even as I type.

It represents the vertex of a parabolic problem. One leading down two independent paths, defining two independent sets of answers. It embodies at once the cause of the war and the perspectives of both combatants.

I didn’t know the answer that day at the seminar. No one seemed to. In fact that single question tormented me years before I caught sight of it from the proper perspective. As such, I don’t feel the least bit bad about tormenting you for a few days.

But at the expense of torturing Winston Churchill, I’ll leave you a hint.

I cannot forecast to you the action of [the enemy]. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma: but perhaps there is a key. That key is [self] interest.


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