Exponential Thinking

Foundations in Exponential Thinking (2): Law of Accelerating Returns

Back to Singularity University’s Foundation of Exponential Thinking (Class 1)

Module 1 was a good experience looking at who I am as a futurist; and some of what I hope to achieve. Sharing more from the activities here:

From the introduction in the essay Kurzweil’s Law of Accelerating Returns

The Law of Accelerating Returns describes five paradigms of information technology. These have been enabled by new technologies building on the knowledge discovered to create the previous technology and the attraction of new resources–such as talent and funding–to the next paradigm. What implications does continued acceleration have for the economy and job market? What about for society, government, and the environment?

Continued acceleration in technology implies continued growth in the economy and also job market. Greater access to and availability of tools thanks to technology implies an expanding set of solutions for the challenges facing society, government and the environment. These ecosystems may concurrently develop new warts or issues needing attention; and most likely humans in the future will wonder how they’ll cope.

Will futurists, people like us who are trying to take a long-view of these challenges, in a systematic way be more or less respected?

There are more and better descriptions and summaries of this idea, but a couple notes here

Kurzweil’s Law
— Nested S-curves

The technological progress in computer chips is well known—but surprisingly, it isn’t a special case. A range of other technologies demonstrate similar exponential growth, whether bits of data stored or DNA base pairs recorded. The outcome is the same: capabilities have increased by thousands, millions, and billions for less cost in just decades.



Other sources

  1. Technology Feels Like It’s Accelerating — Because It Actually Is 
  2. In Focus How to Think Exponentially and Better Predict the Future 

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