Decentralization of High Tech
How abstraction, cost and education convert research fields to applied.
Every sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.2 But as more and more people understand and use the technology, the magic fades and it becomes an everyday affair.
There are 3 interconnected factors that influence this:
- Abstraction and Field Maturity
- Demand and Cost
Abstraction and Field Maturity
Abstraction makes it easy for programmers to learn new things. Open Source projects are best at these.
Every advanced technology eventually comes to a point where simple statements get the job done without need to understand details.
It takes long time for things to get polished. Open Source projects spend years perfecting things.
Web Technologies is probably in it’s most mature state. Like with Spring Boot:
- You have integrations to include things like Batch Processing, Database Connectivity, Micro Services, Security, etc.
- Each of which at one point in time were totally a big subject to learn and implement. Now most are a few hours of configuration.
Like with Arduino:
- Arduino has different environment, chips and hardware that make it easy for anyone to quickly prototype and test hardware products.
- There are modules available for camera, microphones, sensors, etc.
- All of which are abstracted and the only things connecting them are arduino and programming.
- Deep Learning is also getting to a state of maturity where things that required special knowledge are replaced with easy abstractions.
- Frameworks like Tensorflow are providing out if the box solution for common activities like Recommender Systems.
Research eventually give rise to applied applications.
Demand and Cost
More a product is needed, the more innovative solutions are made to make it cheaper and available to as many people as possible. #capitalism
Once it is available to more people, more innovative uses come out of it.
Software is cheaper to replicated therefore pace of innovation is much faster.
Hardware costs are variable in different countries. China has had a lot of hardware innovations because the cost of hardware is much lower due to high supply.
Role of Education
YouTube and online video in general has been a revolutionary technology. A man is limited to opportunities he/she gets. Online video allows for opportunity for everyone to learn the same thing.
Books are boring for most folks.
I believe once SpaceX reaches Mars, we’ll go through a similar cycle for space technology too. Where some things become so abstracted and spread of education increases that more people can start ticketing with things.
Photo by Forest Katsch on Unsplash ↩
Steve Jobs ↩