One of his recent posts discusses the very ideas that I mentioned in my blog-defining first post – namely that the next 20 years (2005-2025) will bring the same amount of change that we saw in the past 100 years (1900-2000). Seems hard to believe but that is the problem with exponentials. They creep up on you when they hit the curve.
If you don’t know Steve or his interests in nano-technology and accelerating technologies, I recommend reading this for a while.
For most of us, who do not recall what life was like one hundred years ago, the metaphor is a bit abstract. So I did a little research. In 1900, in the U.S., there were only 144 miles of paved road, and most Americans (94%+) were born at home, without a telephone, and never graduated high school. Most (86%+) did not have a bathtub at home or reliable access to electricity. Consider how much technology-driven change has compounded over the past century, and consider that an equivalent amount of progress will occur in one human generation, by 2020. It boggles the mind, until one dwells on genetics, nanotechnology, and their intersection.
Exponential progress perpetually pierces the linear presumptions of our intuition. “Future Shock” is no longer on an inter-generational time-scale. How will society absorb an accelerating pace of externalized change? What does it mean for our education systems, career paths, and forecast horizons?