Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Munging Moore's Law and Gay Rights

Moore's law states that computer processing power will double every 18 months or so.  There has been all sorts of extrapolations as to what this may mean to us as a society, the Singularity being one.  I've got another: Gay Rights.



I did a paper back in college (late 90s) on gay marriage - I still remember the feeling of astonishment that, by that time, no state had yet allowed same-sex couples to marry.  If I recall correctly, only a few allowed civil unions.  As of this writing, 9 states now allow same-sex marriages, and several others are well on their way.  That is a major cultural pivot in just 15 years.


My take is that the speed of the pivot has a lot to do with Moore's Law, or rather, the infrastructure it has enabled.  As computer processing has grown exponentially, so too has the speed of communication.  We have moved from The Pony Express to the Daily Paper to the 24-hour News Cycle to now near instant delivery, with each leap coming faster than the last.  In a similar vein, social networking has expedited the sharing of opinions and thoughts among friends.  What used to happen periodically on the front porch is now a constant stream.  Communication is exponentially faster, and so too are its persuasive properties.

As opinions change, the impact of that change radiates with rapid speed.  As one friend openly seeks to understand marriage equality, all connected friends are exposed to this shift.  Even as a lone NBA player comes out as being gay, the rapid dissemination (and exploration) of this story takes over like never before.  As with Moore's Law, change is happening exponentially faster.

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