Moore’s Law, Koomey’s Law, and the Cheek Pouch Law: A Comparison

Cheek pouches are a monkey’s way of increasing her food storage, usually when she’s of a lower rank and needs to grab as much as possible without getting in the way of the alpha. Sometimes, when I see these macaques shove as many pellets into their seemingly never-ending bunches of skin, and they resemble disturbingly-inflamed tonsils, it makes me think of Moore’s law. Moore’s law is the rate at which we store all our data (processing speed, number of pixels, etc.). Or at least, it used to be.

It's hard to care that I'm stealing your food when I'm this cute

TechEurope writes:

In 1965, Intel founder Gordon E. Moore predicted computer processing power, measured in terms of the number of transistors which could be placed on a chip, would double roughly every 18 months. But, particularly with the growth in the number of portable computing devices, “Moore’s law” has become increasingly irrelevant.

When a macaque begins store her food in her face, she starts slowly. She sees food on the ground, notices how abundant it is, and doesn’t feel she’ll need to grab more because, y’know, there’s so much! Eventually, more monkeys surround her and begin to feed as well. The rate at which she starts to shove dried fruit into her chops increases at a predictable rate.

This is sort of how Moore’s law was working: every 18 months, our processing power doubled, and has done so predictably for over 40 years. But now, things are changing, according to

A newly discovered trend, however, seems to be outpacing old Moore, making computers and mobile devices more power efficient in the same timeframe.

The trend, now called “Koomey’s Law,” was discovered by Stanford University’s consulting professor of civil and environmental engineering Jonathan Koomey, and it’s significant because there’s been a shift in focus from raw computing power over to efficiency in recent years. That’s because consumers use more mobile devices than ever before, and it matters more that your phone not die on you while performing basic tasks than if it’s got five times the power of last year’s chipset.

Basically, we’re getting our info faster than just doubling it every 18 months. In the same way, at the sight of the alpha making her way over, the monkey begins to force feed herself, filling her cheek pouches at a skyrocketing rate much faster than before. But at some point, the monkey’s cheeks will reach breaking point, where no more food will fit and she knows she has to stop or get mauled by the alpha. I call this the Cheek Pouch Law. So my question for you, readers is this: will Koomey’s Law pick up as a trend and completely replace Moore’s Law? Or will we hit our data-processing breaking point, and inevitably all end up victims of the Cheek Pouch Law?

I could probably fit some more...


One response

  1. Pingback: Week 2 Blog Review « Media Frontiers: Class Blog Review

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