The venerable Moore's law states that, the number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years. The period often quoted as 18 months is due to David House, an Intel executive, who predicted that period for a doubling in chip performance (being a combination of the effect of more transistors and them being faster).
Today news reached us that Moore's Law is threatened by a bankruptcy of the key ingredient in all of programming. Upon hearing the dire news, two programmers have the following conversation:
Old Programmer: OMG Moore's law is over. Software development is over. We are doomed.
Young Programmer: Is it that Mayan Calendar Dec. 21st end-of-the-world thing again OP?
Old Programmer: That was last week. This is worse. This time it's the real thing.
Young Programmer: It's the Romney win, isn't it?
Old Programmer: The what? Oh, that he almost won 40 percent of the New Hampshire vote after campaigning for what, like 40 years? No, way more serious. We are running out of energy.
Young Programmer: You mean that panic piece on CNBC, the one that says the Saudis can't pump enough of the good crude to make up for the possible shortages from the new Iran sanctions, and may be stuck with heavy crudes the market won't want?
Old Programmer: Well, that's pretty bad, I guess. But no, we can always use nuclear power.
Young Programmer: Well, maybe or maybe not. Indian Point just had to shut yesterday over a bad pump or something.
Old Programmer: That is worrisome. But no. That isn't it.
Young Programmer: You sure it isn't about Romney? I mean talking about running out of energy. The best the Republicans can do is field this guy who made all his dough flipping or stripping companies, except for a handful of home runs. Plus he's got hair as slick as Edwards, who is looking to slither his way out of doing hard time for using campaign funds to cover up that affair...I mean who does Edwards think he is? Newt Gingrich?
And speaking of low energy, Romney's absolutely Kerryesque in that he voted for healthcare before he voted against it. Actually, that's a bit Obamaesque, too, he hasn't voted against it yet, he's just promised he will. Kinda like Obama promised we'd have healthcare when he was running, only in reverse. If Romney wins, we won't have health care coverage, he'll reverse Obamacare, which is really Romneycare. Unless we're rich like him, of course--he's got health care covered. I mean, he is like the Republican version of an all-purpose born-to-lose Democratic candidate--only he's a conservative.
Old Programmer: No, I am talking about something more transcendental. Twinkies, the very life-blood of all real programmers, are going out of existence! The programmer universe is turning into a collapsing star and the yellow center of all energy is growing dim. We would have no software at all without the legendary Twinkie, that non-foodstuff that could never go bad, and which fueled all our multiday programming runs since the dawn of time. Hostess Brands Inc., the maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread, is seeking bankruptcy protection, blaming its pension and medical benefits obligations, increased competition and tough economic conditions. What will I do?
Young Programmer: OMG, what, are you, like, still using FORTRAN? Just switch to Red Bull.