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You will not find technofetishism as an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary, but you might someday.

Originally portrayed for us by William Gibson's Neuromancer, Lisa Sherman's Eros Ex Machina, and many many others is a dystopic future wherein most citizens are in love with their technology.

Taken to an extreme, this would presumably lead to such novelties as human-computer integration, virtual interaction being more desirable than literal interaction, and an adoption of technology out of purely aesthetic reasons.

But for me, technofetishism today is a deep appreciation for the rate of technological advancement we enjoy combined with a growing use of various devices and gadgets simply because you can.

Those who join with me in this do not care how hard something is to use. They do not care how badly a given company treats us. They most especially do not care one damned whit about how the media portrays us. Quick and to the point, it is about being on the bleeding edge, knowing what's coming down the pipe 5 years before the Joneses catch wind of it in the NY Times, and having a computing/information reach that exceeds our grasp.

Con: All that bloody EM radiation. Sure it's low-level, but where are the long term studies? Where is the centuries-old exposure of said radiation to show me what will happen to my DNA after 50 years of exposure to cell phones, laptops, 21" monitors, PDAs, and headphones? Time will tell.

Let's play a fun game with Moore's Law:

Gordon Moore himself has recently observed that he believes his original observation (modified now to 200% every 18 months) will continue until at least 2020. Due to recent developments in semiconductor fabrication and material technology, assuming 200% every 18 months is probably conservative - but we will stick with it for the sake of argument. Starting at 2002, with 2Ghz processors, extrapolate a 200% increase every 18 months until 2020.

  • 2003.5: 4Ghz
  • 2005.0: 8Ghz
  • 2006.5: 16Ghz
  • 2008.0: 32Ghz
  • 2009.5: 64Ghz
  • 2011.0: 128Ghz
  • 2012.5: 256Ghz
  • 2014.0: 512Ghz
  • 2015.5: 1024Ghz OR 1Thz
  • 2017.0: 2Thz
  • 2018.5: 4Thz
  • 2020.0: 8Thz

And THAT chart is for desktop computing. We can project an increase in available consumer-level processing power of over 400,000% by the time 2020 rolls around. To give a better real-world example, it took about a decade (give or take) to sequence the human genome on top-of-the-line supercomputers. Let's see what happens to that 10 years with our 400,000% upgrade:

  • 10 years * 365.25 days = 3652.5 days
  • 3652.5 days * 24 hours = 87660 hours
  • 87660 hours / 4000 = 21.9 HOURS

Depending on how fast super-computers are supposed to be compared to consumer-level devices (say, oh, a factor of 10-100) that means in 2020 we should theoretically be able to sequence the genome on our desktop in 9 - 90 days (219 - 2190 hours). How's THAT for progress?


Off-Topic Synonym: Technofetishism is also referenced in the Fading Suns (formerly Alternatity) game setting. It is named as a sinful, hubristic downfall of the the Second Republic by the Universal Celestial Church.

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