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There’s been lots of buzz about Google’s new name in China—Song of the Grain. Seems lots of Chinese folks have been calling it “gougou” or “dog dog” and Google wanted something spifier.
I have Andrew Zolli and his Z + partners blog to thank for the video. And thanks to Andrew for this bit of information on “grain” (yes, this is a shaggy dog story). It’s a quote from IBM’s CEO Sam Palmisano at the recent IBM conference in Italy on innovation.
Here goes Sam: “Last year, human beings produced more transistors (and at lower cost) than they did grains of rice.”
Now think about that for a moment. When I was in the Peace Corps in the Philippines, I spent months walking in patty fields, deep in the mud, to help develop higher-yielding grains of rice. In the end, this Green Revolution basically ended starvation in Asia (a predictable and periodic event even when I was a kid). And it did it by creating billions of new grains of rice every year. Yet, still fewer than transistors today. Hmmm…..
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