I just read this rather interesting article, Is Science Slowing Down?, which tests the rather commonsensical view that science is moving forward ever faster and finds it wanting.

The above quote is the angle of attack that the proposition is taking; that apparent exponential growth in scientific output is actually a game of diminishing returns masked by even greater exponential growth in

One interesting implication that I draw from it is that, excepting the AI wild card, the human population must maintain exponential growth in order to sustain continued scientific and technological development.

This is the standard presentation of Moore’s Law – the number of transistors you can fit on a chip doubles about every two years (eg grows by 35% per year). This is usually presented as an amazing example of modern science getting things right, and no wonder – it means you can go from a few thousand transistors per chip in 1971 to many million today, with the corresponding increase in computing power.

But BJRW have a pessimistic take. There are eighteen times more people involved in transistor-related research today than in 1971. So if in 1971 it took 1000 scientists to increase transistor density 35% per year, today it takes 18,000 scientists to do the same task.So apparently the average transistor scientist is eighteen times less productive today than fifty years ago.That should be surprising and scary.

The above quote is the angle of attack that the proposition is taking; that apparent exponential growth in scientific output is actually a game of diminishing returns masked by even greater exponential growth in

*inputs*.One interesting implication that I draw from it is that, excepting the AI wild card, the human population must maintain exponential growth in order to sustain continued scientific and technological development.

**The solution to 1984 is 1973!**