Sunday, March 26, 2006

Where is the Power?

The Economist this weeks reports on Gillette's five bladed razor and demonstates that if you graph number of blades against time you get a hyperbolic curve. This is a steeper version of the Power Curve (famously applied to microchips).

The D-Generation famously speculated about a 16 bladed razor many years ago. From the Chaser:
The first blade distracts the hair, while the second and third blades sneak up behind it, cutting off any escape routes. The fourth and fifth blades attempt to coax the hair from its hiding place using modern modern counselling techniques while the sixth blade, posing as a passing motorist, acts as a decoy, allowing the seventh and eighth blades to swoop down and quickly overpower the hair. The ninth blade, disguised as a postman, administers a small dose of chloroform, allowing blades 10 through 13 to remove the hair and escort it away for further questioning. The 14th blade informs the hair of its rights. The 15th blade handles the paperwork and the 16th blade, well, it's just along for the ride.
It was quite a sight to see if I recall.

If the hyperbolic path holds, we will see it, in actuality, around 2012. If course, what might actually occur is more like the S-curve where the blade-rate falls off at some 'natural' limit. The problem, as you can see, is no one can predict that limit.


maynard101 said...

do we need to be familiar with the added value of the d-generation for the exam?

Joshua Gans said...

Of course. Great idea.