Monday, June 13, 2011


Edison's invention of 1878 may have been one of the few times in history when there was only one of a "thing". Most other inventions are developed with many trials and reworkings; a continuum, not a singularity. Edison's light bulb went through hundreds of trials. Edison's phonograph worked the first time.

Now we are fast approaching a new singularity- but of a different sort. With potential "cloud" based storage of sound recordings (and print and video) there will be one huge "record" that we will be able to access anytime, anywhere. One hundred thirty-three years isn't a very long time, the difference between Edison's first recording and the modern state of the art is many orders of magnitude. What the next century holds is anyone's guess- although I think that limitations on distribution (bandwidth) will kick in sooner than that.

By Professor Batty


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