I'm afraid there is no actual law proposed in this piece, I'm just trying to be clever
Farhad Manjoo has a piece out in the NYT about how revolutionary the new Mac laptops are, thanks to their Apple-produced1 M1 chips. Manjoo’s a bright guy and I have little reason to doubt his layout of the overall situation, though of course the tech press’s constant tendency is to overpromise. But I will happily accept that Apple’s new chips are powerful and energy-efficient. What I’m not sure about is whether this matters very much: I think few people are CPU-limited in most contexts these days, and power efficiency is less important for laptops than for most other types of tech.
One of the things that I think really distorts contemporary tech coverage is that so many of the people who review tech are doing the basic content creation for sharing those reviews. That is, tech coverage is full of YouTubers and other independent players, and almost all of them do the video editing and graphics rendering for themselves. Even employees of larger publications often edit their own videos. Which leads to a commonplace in computer reviews, which is benchmarking based on programs designed to mimic CPU-intensive tasks like said editing and rendering. The trouble is that there just aren’t many people who do that stuff. I have no idea of numbers here but it seems strange to me that so many computer reviews fixate on tasks that most people simply don’t need. (Indeed, most people use a web browser, Spotify, Microsoft Office, and assorted other low-impact programs, suggesting that they’re paying for much more laptop than they need.) So while I’m sure the M1 chips perform very well relative to the competition I find myself skeptical that the average Macbook user is ever going to use even a significant fraction of that power. It reminds me very much of the horsepower war in cars.