Sign up FAST! Login

How to Think Exponentially and Better Predict the Future, by Alison Berman

Stashed in: Awesome, The Future, Turing, Singularity!, Life Hacks, The Singularity, Ray Kurzweil!, Ray Kurzweil

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

The future is widely misunderstood. Our forebears expected it to be pretty much like their present, which had been pretty much like their past.” –Ray Kurzweil, The Singularity Is Near

Though the pace of technology is progressing exponentially, the default mode of our caveman brains is to think linearly.

We humans aren’t great predictors of the future. For most of history, our experience has been “local and linear.” Not much change occurred generation to generation: We used the same tools, ate the same meals, lived in the same general place.

As a result, we’ve developed an intuitive outlook of the future akin to how we approach a staircase—having climbed a number of steps, our prediction of what’s to come is simply steps followed by more steps, with each day expected to be roughly like the last.

But, as Ray Kurzweil describes in The Singularity Is Near, the rapid growth of technology is actually accelerating progress across a host of domains. This has led to unexpected degrees of technological and social change occurring not only between generations, but within them.

Against our intuition, today the future is unfolding not linearly but exponentially, making it challenging to predict just what will happen next and when. This is why the pace of technological progress tends to surprise us, and we find ourselves in situations like this:

How to Think Exponentially and Better Predict the Future Singularity HUB

How did the king not see this coming?

Covering all of India to a depth of 50 feet is ridiculous. 

The same way demonstrated in the picture! "I did not expect this!"  (Which reminds me of my favorite Monty Python line....)

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition?

You May Also Like: