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Waiting for the razor-blade singularity

9 bladed razorsWe may need to check with Ray Kurzweil on this one, but it looks as though we might expect the technological singularity sooner than anyone expects, based on your razor.

The Economist did an evaluation of the number of blades on razors, and discovered (with five data points) that there is a Moore’s Law for razor blades. (This is the idea that computer chips double in power every 18 months or so.) It took seventy years to add the second blade, twenty or so to get to three blades, a few years to go from three to four, and the Fusion came out in 2006. So, is this just marketing, or another indicator of the technological singularity?

razor blade singularityI suspect the latter. Each new blade requires, like the the doubling of computer chip power, new technology and innovation. (Much to the chagrin of razor-blade marketers everywhere.)

The Economist predicts a 14-bladed razor by the year 2100, unless the growth rate is a hyperbola, in which case, expect the the singularity by 2015.

Unfortunately, we’ve been stalled at 5 blades for nearly 5 years now, so I suspect it is going to take longer to get that 14-bladed beard-destroying monster. My razor has five blades, and I find it takes too long to shave, though the results are acceptable. That said, I should also note that I have a goatee, so I’m only shaving 60% of my face. If I had to shave my entire face, I don’t know if I could take the crushing ennui.

Of course, by the time the singularity arrives, we’ll have an app for ennui.

Alltop uses the same bronze razor that Archimedes shaved with. Razor photo by Dr. Friendly. Originally published July, 2011.

One Comment

  1. Just when I forget why I read you, you come along with a post like this — and I remember. Isn’t the app for ennui Facebook, though?

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