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New Technology Lecture L04 Adjacent Possible


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Slides from Lecture L04 Adjacent Possible …

Slides from Lecture L04 Adjacent Possible
In Reykjavík University course New Technology 2014

Technology evolves by exchange of ideas. With speciality began prosperity. After one idea comes another idea, by combining ideas into new ideas. In this lecture we look at the fundamental reason for technological progress and it is similar to that of how species evolve in nature.

At any given time, with all the knowledge we have, new knowledge can emerge. We call this the adjacent possible. It explains why new inventions are invented when they are, and why they are not possible before their time.

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  • 1. Lecture L04 ADJACENT POSSIBLE
  • 2. Exponential World Global and Exponential Local and linear
  • 3. The S-curve Improvements in performance varies throughout the life of the technology
  • 4. Moore’s Law Number of transistors on
 an integrated circuit will double " in about 18-24 months
  • 5. The Law of Accelerating Returns Evolution applies positive feedback in that the more capable methods resulting from one stage of evolutionary progress are used to 
 create the next stage" "" "As a result, the rate of progress of an evolutionary process increases exponentially over time
  • 6. Ideas build upon Ideas Every generation of technology 
 becomes a source for new 
  • 7. Web of Technology Products are made using different parts using many technologies confection of ideas
  • 8. Complexity of Technology Global and Exponential Local and linear
  • 9. Gall’s Law All complex systems that work evolved from 
 simpler system that worked
  • 10. “I, Pencil” by Leonard E. Read
  • 11. Toaster
  • 12. Thomas Thwaits: The Toaster Project
  • 13. "Left to his own devices he couldn’t build a toaster. He could just about make a sandwich 
 and that was it." Mostly Harmless, Douglas Adams, 1992
  • 14. “And that was something that reoccurred throughout the project, was, the smaller the scale you want to work on, the further back in time you have to go” - Thomas Thwaites
  • 15. The Law of Disappearing Technology When some technique is mastered, it will “disappear” as something obvious and trivial, and other more useful things that are built on top of it
  • 16. Layers of Technology Technologies evolves layer by layer, from simple to complex " technologies
  • 17. Adjacent Possible
  • 18. Adjacent Possible ...a kind of shadow future, hovering on the edges of the present state of things, a map of all the ways in which the present can reinvent itself Steven Johnson
  • 19. Ideas usually come at similar time Who invented the telephone?
  • 20. Enabling Technology Existing technology that can be used to build new technologies
  • 21. Think about this! Why was the computer invented in the 1940s 
 and not in the 1840s?
  • 22. Charles Babbage
 worked on his 
 difference engine and later 
 analytical engine In 1822-1871
  • 23. Vacuum tubes where used 
 to build computers Image  source:
  • 24. The Second Industrial Revolution The period 1870-1914 shaw innovations in the chemical, electric, petroleum and steel industries
  • 25. Nikolai Kondratiev Kondratiev waves are supposedly cycle-like phenomena in the modern world economy
  • 26. Kontrativ Wave Source:  Wikipedia,  Kondratiev  Wave
  • 27. Kontrativ Wave Wave Years 1 First Industrial Revolution 1787–1842 2 Railroad and Steam Engine Era 1842–1897 3 Age of steel, electricity and internal combustion 1897–1939 4 War and Post-war Boom: Suburbia 1939–1982 5 Post Industrial Era: Information Technology 1982? – ?? Source:  Wikipedia,  Kondratiev  Wave
  • 28. The Prevailing Technology Trap Current  and  dominant  technology  will  highly   influence  and  restrict  new  innovations
  • 29. Technology Cramming
  • 30. Technology Cramming
  • 31. Adjacent Possible The inventor must use the components that exist in his environment Steven  Johnson
  • 32. Two Waves of Products Development In the first wave the product is restricted by the prevailing technology, but in the second, there is something new
  • 33. Adjacent Possible The inventor must use the components that exist in his environment Steven  Johnson
  • 34. Next L05 Innovation