The Tao Of Exponential


Exponential Limes © 2013 Nick

One, two, four, eight…double the number of limes in less and less time. 30 steps and you have 1 billion limes. A few more steps…you fill the solar system with limes in a heartbeat. Another few steps…you flood the multi-verse instantaneously. The lime curve shows that the time it takes for “2” to become “4” is half the time it took for “1” to become “2.” Ditto “4” to “8,” and so on. The increase is exponential leading to infinity.

Information technology is growing just like these limes. Computing power doubles every year, the amount of information created more than doubles, and human knowledge is increasing at an increasing rate. However, human expectations are based on linear thought processes—for almost all of human history the rate of change has been glacial so linear thinking is embedded in our nature.

But today if the underlying technologies affecting our lives are advancing exponentially…is linear thinking suddenly a relic of the past?

See Kurzweill on McKinsey & Company (select “play all”)


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