When the Comdex show closed its doors a few years ago a lot of people threw up their hands and decided it was some sort of secular turning-point, the lesson being that people didn't do trade shows anymore.
Well it was a turning point. But not of the ind they thought.
Fact is, Comdex lives. It lives in Taiwan, and it's called Computex.
The show just finished, and the reports are still dribbling in. But what's clear is that the same spirit of innovation, the same corporate social mobility, and the same establishment of distribution that marked the Comdex show in its heyday all took place in Taiwan.
This is meaningful on several levels.
Most important it means that the U.S. has been replaced in its previous role of establishing the direction of technology. Americans now to go Computex much as Europeans went to Comdex back in the day, looking to find out what "they" think, what "they" have done, and what "they" have in store for us.
What Americans have failed to grasp about Moore's Law is that it is not only exponential with regard to capacity but with regard to time. That is, change accelerates constantly, and if you don't keep up you will be left behind.
No matter how big you think you are, no matter how powerful, if you ignore the imperatives of technology change, if you try and stop it, in the name of your perceived national security or anything else, you're going to get run over by it.
Sometimes you're the Louisville Slugger. Sometimes you're the ball.
We've sacrificed our economic independence. For what, Mr. Bush? For what, Mr. Cheney? Mr. Limbaugh, you want to take that on? Mr. DeLay? Anyone? You, Kudlow?
I didn't think so.