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A Pikettian Graph

Part of the problem with the Pikettian “Investment Event Horizon”, which I articulated in an earlier post, is the idea that we can blindly presume that a statistical trend will continue forever without carefully considering whether the extrapolation is at all plausible.

In that spirit, a friend of mine analyzed the growth of smartphone screens, which began a few years ago at around a diagonal measurement of 3 inches, then moved to 4 inches, and have recently been going past 5 inches. He has demonstrated, by extrapolation, that by the year 2034 smart phones will be 80 inches across!

Not convinced? See his graphs for yourself! Anyone can see that the trend is inexorable. Nothing could possibly interrupt it!

Now, as it happens, Piketty’s data appear to have been incorrect, but note, yet again, that even if the data had been correct, that does not make the underlying claim any less risible.

11 comments to A Pikettian Graph

  • A glimpse into a terrifying future.

  • Snorri Godhi

    A similar extrapolation could be made about the number of blades in razors.

  • Ark Royal

    But that is different! Piketty is talking about his nuanced existential views on capitalism, and thus the multiplier causes the dialectic contradictions around the M3 money supply to implode due to the inevitably-of-history quotient, which lines up perfectly with not just the omphalos of false consciousness requires by the surplus value of labour to move the equilibrium, therefore leading toward the collapse of bourgeois values, it also is perfectly lines up with Julie Gayet’s exquisite fragrant breasts. Coincidence? I think not! This therefore proves the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient not only approaches 1 but also has the aroma of foie gras. But that is too sophisticated for your small American mind, you oaf! 😛

  • Runcie Balspune

    Amongst those skeptical of catastrophic climate change claims, seeing these types of conjecture are all too common.

  • Shirley Knott

    I worked for a large Telco back in the ‘data transport’ growth days. We had VPs seriously proposing that our DSL business could and would continue to grow at the current rate effectively forever.
    This despite the firm technological limits on who could qualify for DSL service (copper all the way to the central office) and the brute fact that our DSL sales were growing much faster than the rate of increase of households. They persisted in ‘not getting it’ that the numbers didn’t work, couldn’t work, and eventually we would have sold all the DSL connections that the world could support.

  • RRS

    On smartphones, consider the possibility of their becoming capable of holographic projection. Then “80 inches?”

  • Jerry


    Um, you write speeches, articles etc. for the global warming, oops, climate change groups, the current U.S. president and his minions don’t you ??

    Go on admit it. We’ll still like you !
    The phrasing. vocabulary and sincerity are just so close to what we hear & see daily that I’m sure you’re the one !!

  • Nick (Blame The French) Gray

    An 80″ (2m) smartphone would be handy if you had bad eyes, or wanted to show your friends what you had, or for annoying people who you want to have fun with! Bring it on! And how big will these phones eventually become? Thankfully, we’ll probably have personal robots by then, and they can carry the phones around. See how emergent technologies converge?

  • Rob

    It is quite common in ‘research ‘ these days to assume a short term trend will continue until CATASTROPHE. In fact, the Prohibitionists have gone one step further and taken a falling trend for alcohol consumption and turned it into an imaginary upward one far into the future…and seen CATASTROPHE looming.

    Whenever I now see the phrases “scientists say” or “researchers say” in BBC news reports my instinctive thought is ‘quacks or liars”.

  • Richard Thomas

    The Galaxy W has a 7″ screen. I don’t even consider that a phone.

    Though with bluetooth headsets, the size of the handset itself is not really an issue anyway.

  • Dom

    What strikes me about the parts of Piketty’s book that I’ve read (through the usual filters, eg, the parts that are quoted by this blog), is that Piketty quite openly does not want to raise taxes in order to obtain revenues for services to the poor. He only wants to raise taxes to prevent people from becoming wealthy. That the poor might remain poor, or that the plight of the middle class may worsen, does not bother him.