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🦉 10x curiosity - Life Implications of Exponential Growth

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🦉 10x curiosity

April 2 · Issue #202 · View online

🦉 A weekly sample of links that made me think 🤔


Thinking…
Also published in 10x Curiosity
If somebody describes the world of the mid-twenty-first century to you and it doesn’t sound like science fiction, it is certainly false. We cannot be sure of the specifics; change itself is the only certainty.” — Yuval Noah Harari
There is a thought exercise about exponential growth. Imagine you start with a single lily pad in a big pond and every day the number of lily pads double. If the entire pond is covered after 30 days — how many days was it for half the pond to be covered?
The answer, for those playing along at home, is that the pond was half covered the previous day — day 29. 

https://wisaarkhu.co.za/article/a-little-bit-every-day-adds-up-in-the-long-run/
https://wisaarkhu.co.za/article/a-little-bit-every-day-adds-up-in-the-long-run/
The implications of this thought exercise were brought home to me in the wonderful book by Jeff Booth — The Price of Tomorrow (also hear this great interview — TMBA Podcast — Jeff Booth)
Jeff discusses how the exponential acceleration of technology is now rapidly changing the world we live in. Moores law states that computing power doubles about every 1.5–2 years and has held remarkably true now for close to 50 years since the early days of computing. What Jeff points out, which is obvious in fact but less so in implication is that each doubling of computing power, actually represents a doubling of all of the previous knowledge it has taken human to reach this point. That is, over the next 18months, the development in computers will be equivalent to the entire previous history of computing development till now!
Humans are poor at understanding this pace of change. That is the nature of exponential curves. They change imperceptibly at first and it is only through patience and consistent development they all of a sudden take off and become unexpectedly transformative.
“Standing still is the fastest way of moving backwards in a rapidly changing world.” — Lauren Bacall
Singularity U post
Singularity U post
The 6D’s of progress is a mental model to think about the compounding power of technology and where to expect the direction of our world to be going.
  1. Digitalization: Once something goes from physical to digital, it gains the ability to grow exponentially.
  2. Deception: Initial exponential growth is such small increases (.01 to .02) that it goes largely unnoticed.
  3. Disruption: Either a new market is created, or an old one is overturned. You either disrupt yourself, or you are disrupted.
  4. Demonetization: The major assets in the industry will become free. Free music, free reading, free communication.
  5. Dematerialization: Removal of the original product entirely, lumping alarm clocks, cameras, notebooks, and phones into one smartphone.
  6. Democratization: The costs drop so low that the technology becomes available to everyone.
Plotting Moore’s Law on an log scale graph highlights the steady increase in computing power (Singularity Hub)
Singularity Hub
Singularity Hub
What this log scale hides however is the exponential point made above. From the vantage point of today, previous generations progress looks linear. 
Singularity Hub
Singularity Hub
Yet imagine looking back in another ten years — the chart is the same. The radical progress of today looking back is completely dwarfed by progress over the next decade.
Singularity Hub
Singularity Hub
Understanding this model points to a number of implications for positioning yourself to leverage the benefits.
Daily improvements compound 
  • very slowly at first but eventually growing faster than you could have ever imagined. Make sure you are learning something new every day.
You need systems to lock in this knowledge 
  • What base and systems are you insisting on to lock in and build on. The only way to leverage compounding growth is if you are building on the shoulders of the lessons from yesterday. Not just your own but all learnings across the globe. The person and business who can most effectively learn from as many sources as possible will come to the top of the pile.
How are you positioning yourself to take advantage of these exponential trends? 
  • You don’t want to be building something for the technology of today, but rather where the technology is going. Singularity U post points out A better forecast would be to look at the last five and then reduce the time it will take to make a similar amount of progress in the next five. It’s more likely that what you think will happen in the next five years will actually happen in the next three.
The rule of thumb here is: expect to be surprised, then plan accordingly. (Singularity U)
Hod Lipson writes in Singularity Hub
…as long as processing power continues to follow an exponential price-performance curve, each future generation will likely look back on the past as an era of relatively little progress. In turn, the converse will also remain true: each current generation will look 10 years into its future and fail to appreciate just how much advancement in artificial intelligence is yet to come.
The challenge, then, for anyone planning for a future driven by computing’s exponential growth is fighting their brain’s flawed interpretations… Because the past will always look flat, and the future will always look vertical.
Moore's Law graphed vs real CPUs & GPUs 1965 - 2019
Let me know what you think? I’d love your feedback. If you haven’t already then sign up for a weekly dose just like this.
Get in touch… — linktr.ee/Tomconnor
More like this from 10x Curiosity
Links that made me think...
Climate Action Tracker - Scaling up climate action in Australia | Climate Action Tracker
McDonald’s Theory | by Jon Bell | Medium
Valentin Delluc speedrides into a deserted snow resort on his skis!
The world will only get weirder - Steve Coast’s Musings
Turns out that Florida water treatment facility left the doors wide open for hackers - The Verge
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