Of all the events that have happened recently, the politics, the economy, Greek debt crisis, what have you, this is the kind of quiet background technological development that is more important than any of that other stuff we discuss.
In my lifetime, I have seen incredible advances in computing. Get quantum computing figured out, then progress will really accelerate.
N.Y Times: I.B.M. Researchers Inch Toward Quantum Computer
“In the past, people have said, maybe it’s 50 years away, it’s a dream, maybe it’ll happen sometime,” said Mark B. Ketchen, manager of the physics of information group at I.B.M.’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. “I used to think it was 50. Now I’m thinking like it’s 15 or a little more. It’s within reach. It’s within our lifetime. It’s going to happen.”
These days, the path to the future now looks more like a series of very hard engineering problems rather than an uphill fight against physics.
For certain problems like searching databases or factoring very large numbers — the basis of today’s encryption techniques — quantum computers could produce an answer in days or maybe even seconds, whereas the fastest conventional computer would take longer than 13.7 billion years.