Friday, June 25, 2010

Gordon Moore's apple

The Apple Tree, by Klimt
Used with permission, CC:

Gordon Moore is in the news again today, this time for his philanthropy.

You know Gordon Moore. He's the founder of Intel Corp. And he's also the famous 1965 oracle of the self-fulfilling prophecy that computing capability will "double every two years until at least 1975."

That famous prediction came to be known as "Moore's Law." Debate continues as to whether he was a visionary who foresaw the future, or merely a legendary leader whose authority is so compelling that scientists feel obligated not to prove him wrong.

In any case, he's important.

I have a personal connection with Gordon Moore. Granted, he doesn't know it, but today's as good a day as any for me to celebrate it.

On October 11, 2006 (a short time after Apple announced it was switching to Intel processors), my younger sister arrived at my house for dinner. With her, she had a bag of fresh apples.

Me eating a new Intel core. Well, sorta.
October 11, 2006.

I bit into one. It was the crispest, juiciest, most flavorful apple I'd ever tasted, clearly the work of a master grower. I thought all the best apples came from Washington, China, and Iran.

I asked her where it was from, and she told me that a friend of hers works for a non-profit environmental preservation organization. Invited for an afternoon to a major benefactor's home, her group was welcomed to pick some apples to take back with them.

My sister added that his name was "Something-or-other Moore."

"GORDON Moore?" I asked.

"Yeah, that was it."

I predict that every two years I will be twice as amazed as I was in 2006 that I ate fresh apples from Gordon Moore's yard.

If everything you try succeeds,
then you are not trying hard enough.
Gordon Moore

Read: Top 10 Billionaires Saving the Planet

Question: What indirect brushes with fame have you had?