Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Which will it be?

Here is Nate Baum-Snow discussing why cities will become more dense. Here are data indicating more cell phones than people in the world -- and counting.  Here are Kate Lister and Tom Hamish discussing the rise of telecommuting ("telework") in the U.S. Here is Pengyu Zhu citing his work which shows that most of those who telecommute choose a longer journey-to-work -- on the days that they go to a workplace. Here is Wendell Cox citing recent U.S. data that indicate continuing suburbanization.

So which will it be? Substitutes or complements? The short answer is that no one knows. The long answer is that it would be a huge stretch to bet against techno-optimism and the continuation of powerful and almost universal suburbanization trends.

Re the former, I loved this from  Andrew McAfee in this week's econtalk:
... I read in the press once in a while that Moore's Law is running out of steam. Don't believe it. I've been reading that as long as I've been reading about technology, and the best I ever heard it summarized was, I cold-called a really good AI (Artificial Intelligence) researcher at a session like this--his name is Andrew Ng, he teaches at Stanford--and said, 'Andrew, how much more time do we have with Moore's Law?' And he said, 'Five more years, same as the last 30 years.'