The Day Physics Stopped Working

The day physics stopped working, all sorts of crazy shit went down.

Floating cats, exploding custard.

Everything you'd usually expect; turned on its head; in many cases literally.

Of course physics actually did stop working quite a while ago in the semi-conductor business.

CPUs are designed using simulation methods now, as the scales which chip designers need to work in are so small that predictable physics float out the window, no one really precisely understands how complex chips work at such levels, and when you are packing complexity into as small a space as possible it pays to be as accurate as can be.

Simulations are useful because you might know how things operate at local areas on the chip; but you have to test out how the chip performs on a macro level without going to the trouble of building hardware.

There was a time when chip designers could rely on physics know-how to intuit good design; that's long gone.

What happens when they find themselves in a world which they cannot understand? Progress slows and Moore's law is harder to sustain, they start fumbling in the dark.

Of course economics never worked.

I take that back.

Perhaps you can count five ideas in economics which you can consistently rely on.

Send me your five: john.orford@gmail.com

The point is economics has never had laws with which to intuit and never had the Moore's Law style exponential progress, because we don't have firm foundations to build upon.