Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Dr. Robin Hansen has an excellent article on change (the kind Senator Obama talks about, not the stuff in your pocket.) The basic theory is that world changing events occur more and more frequently. The pace of change is logarithmic (see the graph above), basically meaning significant events occur in half the time that the previous significant change occurred. The article is very interesting and not so technical that we can't all understand it. It also links to some other notable articles on the same premise.
These events are called singularities, and two of note are the invention of agriculture and the industrial revolution. The economic implications of singularities are also discussed. Dr. Hansen theorizes that the next singularity will come with the perfection of intelligent machines (those that are capable of thought and learning.)
There are many more graphs showing logarithmic progress in things like computing speed, internet use, U.S. war deaths, etc. It is very interesting.