Gordon Moore + more things

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Gordon Moore

I was introduced to Gordon Moore and Moore’s Law through a college class on innovation taught by my friend Neil Keegan. I have also just read Michael Malone’s The Big Score; an account written in the early 1980s that Gordon Moore featured in as one of the co-founders of Intel.

OnInnovation Interview: Gordon Moore
Gordon Moore taken for an OnInnovation interview he was doing circa 2008 for the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

Gordon Moore was a San Franciscan by birth but educated at John Hopkins University, rather than Stanford University. He worked at Shockley and at Fairchild Semiconductor prior to co-founding Intel. In many respects Gordon Moore was more low-key than other Intel founders like Bob Noyce or Andy Grove – but the ideas behind Moore’s Law echoed around the world. The law has been interpreted and misinterpreted by technologists, economists, journalists and policy makers the world over.

Moore’s Law

Gordon Moore made an observation that was published in 1965 and became an immutable forecast for the rest of the 20th century that would guide the direction of the semiconductor industry and every industry that relied upon it.

It started off with an article that Gordon Moore had published in Electronics magazine on April 19, 1965. He observed that the number of transistors were doubling every year over a 10-year period. This relationship was widely known by people working in the field. But the semiconductor field was a small community and the name Moore’s Law eventually stuck.

The complexity for minimum component costs has increased at a rate of roughly a factor of two per year. Certainly over the short term this rate can be expected to continue, if not to increase. Over the longer term, the rate of increase is a bit more uncertain, although there is no reason to believe it will not remain nearly constant for at least 10 years.

Once, that had been proven correct in 1975, Gordon Moore went on to revise his model to assume a similar effect very two years. This was presented in a speech at the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting that year.

All of this meant that technologists like those at the Computer Science Lab at Xerox PARC could spend large amounts of money building foundational technologies and know that the ability to commercially produce these items would catch up ten years hence. Robert X. Cringely posits that much of the dot com bust was down to an industry getting too ahead of itself in terms of what it estimated Moore’s Law could achieve in the mid-to-late 1990s.

Integrated circuits started finding their way into everyday products and facilitating new product categories such as laptops, smartphones and the modern web.

Gordon Moore left us on March 24, 2023.


How millennial faces fell out of fashion | Financial Times 


The world according to Xi | The Economist 

China detains staff, raids office of US due diligence firm Mintz Group | Reuters“Red alerts should be going off in all boardrooms right now about risks in China,” the source, who did not wish to be identified due to the sensitive nature of the matter, said. China has said it welcomes foreign trade and investment but stressed that security comes before development. U.S. businesses operating in China are increasingly pessimistic about their prospects in the world’s second-largest economy, according to a survey released this month by the American Chamber of Commerce in China. Two-thirds of the respondents cited rising U.S.-China tensions as the top business challenge. Western due diligence companies have got into trouble with Chinese authorities before. British corporate investigator Peter Humphrey and his American wife Yu Yingzeng, who ran risk consultancy ChinaWhys, were detained in 2013 following work they did for British pharmaceuticals group GSK. Humphrey, who spent two years in jail for allegedly acquiring personal information by illegal means, which he denied, told Reuters that providing due diligence in China was even harder now because of a “massive tightening in access to information.” – Ok a bit of context. If Gordon Moore hadn’t died this post would have been Mintz Group + more things – this is how big this is. The Mintz Group is a respected due diligence research company. If you are looking to:

  • Buy a business and want to know if its real, or what the states of the assets are
  • Want to ensure that you are not doing business with legally sanctioned entities
  • If you are a finance firm and want to ensure that the people you are considering to invest in are who they say they are and the business actually exists and works in the way they claim
  • If you are trying to find out if your supplier is conducting themselves in an honest manner with you

The more opaque China becomes, the less tenable it becomes to conduct work there, do business with Chinese companies or invest in Chinese companies and the Chinese economy. The timing is less likely to be intentionally symbolic than happenstance, but either way it isn’t good news.


Solar power: Europe attempts to get out of China’s shadow | Financial Times 


Marking US banks to Market | FT – interesting and a bit concerning


How the effect of COVID-19 continues to ripple through markets: Fewer Engagements Bite Into Signet Jewelry Sales 03/20/2023 


Inside Food: a new agency for a complex world | Creative Review co-founded by my friend Iain Tait


Negativity drives online news consumption | Nature Human Behaviour – and that poses a problem for its advertising based funding model looking for brand safety as well as the move to ‘barbell’ political discourse


Lessig for the Internet Archive. This is the transcript from a video I… | by Lessig | Mar, 2023 | Medium – Internet Archive under attack by commercial media

TikTok’s CEO Isn’t The Boss – by Alex Kantrowitz – this pretty much sums up the outcomes from the Congress star chamber. While I feel sorry for the gentleman, he knew precious little about his business. More here: TikTok Hearing: The End of an Era. This Kevin Xu helps you understand a small part of the bigger picture here: RESTRICT China – by Kevin Xu – Interconnected

Tax Heaven 3000 – a dating sim that does your taxes by MSCHF


ChatGPT Gets Its “Wolfram Superpowers”!—Stephen Wolfram Writings 

ongoing by Tim Bray · The LLM Problem – excellent essay by Tim Bray on large language model systems (ChatGPT, Bard etc). Tim knows what he is talking about having helped found OpenText and going on to hold senior roles at Sun Microsystems, Google and Amazon. Bill Gates as more techno-utopian take on machine learning (of which LLM is a subset) – The Age of AI has begun | Bill Gates 

Apple ‘Porn’ Filter | Techrights – a disturbing development that opens a Pandora’s box of possible censorship and authoritarian measures in the wrong hands – which its likely to fall given the global ubquity of Apple’s technology