John Siracusa on the inevitability of CPUs
From ATP #151 @ 1:35:14:
Like this, this Withings thing, it’s the old “as the price of compute drops to zero eventually smart guts go into everything just because it’s so frigging cheap.” Why would you have just a regular quartz watch without some very basic accelerometer step tracking and computer smarts & wireless connectivity because eventually the thing that does all of that on one tiny system on a chip five years from now, that costs less than the little metal bar we use to connect the straps, just put it in, it’s free.
So everything has some amount of smarts in it and then Apple is making the high end one where they’re always pushing the envelop, “What kind of crazy computing stuff can we put in here?” It’s like the Internet of Things, “We’re going to put a smart chip in everything and we think that will make it better!” And it probably won’t in the beginning but it just becomes so cheap you just do it because you can and you just try to find a use for it and eventually hopefully we will.
In the same way electricity came into everything. Everything didn’t have electricity, but “Oh, I need electricity for a lightbulb.” Well what about electricity in a thing that heats your house? You don’t need electricity for that you just shovel coal. Well what about electricity in the thing that cooks your food? Well you just put wood in the stove. Well what about the thing that toasts your food? I just put it in the oven isn’t that, does electricity need to be in everything? It’s just going to make everything worse! And in the beginning it did! But eventually everything has frigging electricity.
So, it’s going to be the same thing with CPUs. Not everything has CPUs now but it is inevitable, it will, in the same way as everything has electricity. And we’re just going to have to endure the stupid years where it makes everything worse. I’m absolutely sure the first electric stoves were hated by everyone who was used to quote-unquote “real stoves” that didn’t have electricity, but we worked it out, and even today people have giant gas stoves, but, compute it coming, watch out.