Search in: Word
Vietnamese keyboard: Off
Virtual keyboard: Show
Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
Jump to user comments
jargon /van'*-var/ A bogus technological prediction or a
foredoomed engineering concept, especially one that fails by
implicitly assuming that technologies develop linearly,
incrementally, and in isolation from one another when in fact
the learning curve tends to be highly nonlinear, revolutions
are common, and competition is the rule. The prototype was
Vannevar Bush's prediction of "electronic brains" the size of
the Empire State Building with a Niagara-Falls-equivalent
cooling system for their tubes and relays, a prediction made
at a time when the semiconductor effect had already been
demonstrated. Other famous vannevars have included
paper from the late 1970s that computed a purported ultimate
limit on areal density for integrated circuits that was in
fact less than the routine densities of 5 years later.