Irreversible trends spur consumer energy independence

August 20, 2013

A number of experts believe that Moore’s law is just a special case of a more profound principle stated by Theodore Wright in a 1936 paper, “Facts Affecting Costs of Airplanes.” Ray Kurzweil more recently restated Wright’s Law, as it came to be known, as “The Law of Accelerating Returns.”

They assert that “practice makes perfect” and there are “economies of production.” The power and economics of desirable new technologies in general, not just integrated circuits, improves exponentially both because we learn by doing how to make them better and the cost of any particular component declines as greater numbers are produced.

Kurzweil’s Law suggests that exponential technology improvement leads to a singularity in every technology, every technology industry — a moment when change is so drastic that something entirely new emerges. […]