June 25, 2016

Maximum Entropy: The Blog

Are the pessimists right about America’s slow-growth future?

March 15th, 2016

A Decade of Subpar Growth - 02.16

In his big new book on the history and future of innovation, Northwestern University economist Robert Gordon argues that information technology is a spent force. Computers and networks just aren’t as powerful as previous inventions, he argues, and the U.S. should expect another 25 years of relative stagnation. He thinks productivity growth up to 2040 will be just half our historical average, meaning tens of millions of middle-class workers will struggle to get ahead.

I’m much more optimistic. continue reading . . .

Remember Peak Oil?

January 24th, 2016

oil shale quotes 2006 b

During the “energy crisis” of 2006, we wrote the following Wall Street Journal commentary, hoping to calm fears of “peak oil” and other nonsense that often accompanies big price swings. We said oil prices likely would recede. We said vast stores of oil, especially in shale, were about to be found and extracted. We said alternative energy schemes in part justified by high oil prices were a bad idea. We also said a big financial disruption was likely. Continue reading . . .

Moore’s Law: A 50th Anniversary Assessment

April 22nd, 2015

See our celebration of the 50th anniversary of Moore’s Law — “Moore’s Law Exceeded Moore’s Expectations.”

And for a longer treatment, see our 19-page paper — “Moore’s Law: A 50th Anniversary Assessment.”

Is U.S. broadband healthy or not?

November 24th, 2014

This question is central to the efforts to change the way we regulate the Internet. In a short new paper from the American Enterprise Institute, we look at a simple way to gauge whether the U.S. has in fact fallen behind other nations in coverage, speed, and price . . . and whether consumers enjoy access to content.

Ignorance, the Ultimate Asset

March 8th, 2013

See our new article “Ignorance, the Ultimate Asset” at The American, the online magazine of the American Enterprise Institute.

Memos to the Future: 2042

December 1st, 2012

What would “the New Normal” of a mere 1% per capita GDP growth mean for the American economy over the next few decades?  What if it’s even worse, as many are now predicting? Is there anything we can do about it? If so, what? We address these items in our new article for the Business Horizon Quarterly — “Beyond the New Normal, a New Era of Growth.”

U.S. Internet Growth – Another Way to Visualize

February 27th, 2012

We’ve published a lot of linear and log-scale line charts of Internet traffic growth. Here’s just another way to visualize what’s been happening since 1990. The first image shows 1990-2004. Continue reading »

What Mobile, Video, Big Data, and Cloud mean for network traffic

November 21st, 2011

See our new report “Into the Exacloud” . . . including analysis of:

> Why cloud computing requires a major expansion of wireless spectrum and investment

> An exaflood update: what Mobile, Video, Big Data, and Cloud mean for network traffic

> Plus, a new paradigm for online games, Web video, and cloud software


Stay hungry. Stay foolish.

October 6th, 2011

Tyler Cowen’s Techno Slump

January 29th, 2011

Have we utterly deluded ourselves? Are we in a technological Dark Age? Here is my analysis in Forbes of Tyler Cowen’s new e-book essay The Great Stagnation, which argues we’ve eaten all the low-hanging fruit and maybe we’ll have to settle for less.