For a long time, people got used to being lazy. If computers become twice as fast every 1.5 to 2 years, there is no point in investing much efforts in writing efficient code. If something does not run fast enough, simply wait for the next generation of Intel x86 and everything will be resolved. In particular, CPUs became fast enough that traditional programming languages and efficient data structures and algorithms were being abandoned in favor of high level scripting languages whose most sophisticated data structure is an associative array. Suddenly, every Joe-hoe could become a programmer developing sophisticated Web applications with no effort – no need for hard earned computer science degrees anymore.Let's ignore the issue as to whether Moore's law is really coming to an end (Moore's law has had 5-10 years left in it since Gordon Moore developed his law). Friedman misses the bigger point, an end of Moore's law will do great harm to Computer Science.
Friendman's mistake is to assume that people always have the same problems to solve. Suppose computers stopped getting more powerful fifteen years ago. Machine Learning as we know now would not have been possible. Nor would we have the advances in graphics, robotics and virtually every other area of computer science. A good deal of CS systems research goes into making these new machines even more efficient, secure and reliable.
Even in theoretical computer science, the advances in computer technology make our work stand out. As we try to tackled larger problems asymptotic algorithmic techniques start dominating the running time. While we can now brute-force solve NP-complete problems on moderate input sizes, as computer performance improves, so does the thirst for solving even larger challenges and the P versus NP problem becomes a harder monster to slay.
Sure Joe-hoe can wait a year or two for his application to run fast without new coding ideas. While he waits Sam-ham takes advantage of new technologies making Joe-hoe's applications out of date.
Without the increased power of computers, we all become hackers to make our programs run better and that is not computer science.