If There Is Much In The Window There Should Be More In The Room

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Did You Know? "We are living in exponential times"


A unbelievable video, one for sure you need to watch.

Fantastic video on the progression
of information technology,
original design and researched by
Karl Fisch, Scott McLeod,
and Jeff Bronman, remixed....

Research and original design by:
Karl Fisch
Scott McLeod
Jeff Brenman


  1. I would say asking, if this exponential technological progression is a wise thing to do, is really a mute point at this stage of the game, regardless of whether or not it is.


    1. Thank you. This is a genuine sentiment from you, M. Please define what you mean by 'mute point' with regards to the issue being presented. That would help me understand what you are trying to say. Could it state to mean that IT progress is an unresolved matter still open to endless discussion or debatable but provides no value in discussing?
      Or, the opposite: the point is already settled, doesn't matter and not worth discussing further?

      This issue is not a moot point to me. Nothing is absolute and stagnant. Relative to some frame of reference, time marches on towards ideal completeness or perfection in respect of quality or condition. And this applies to substantive advancement in Information Technology, as well. Given these amazing facts and figures about the rate at which technology makes progress, it IS worth pausing from time to time to reflect on the remarkable features of modern development. It is surely right to say that we live in exponential times. While we analyze the figures, it should be understood that they are relevant in their own regards and they cannot simply be 'ignored', for want of a better term.

      Looking at history broadly, and not just at the variables that represent "progress", this video pans out fairly with an open-ended question for thought: so what does it all mean? This is well worth the time to view and reflect as it offers astute observations that serve as a springboard for conversation and consideration of the impact of technology advances on the future. It employs a powerful thought to explore. Questions like, are we on track for disaster in just a few decades, if as our technology gets better and better, our capacity to innovate our way out of serious shortages just grows and grows? But maybe just because we know it is happening, can our "rational/reflective" mind should allow us to avoid the fate of failure?

    2. We have the somewhat dubious honor of living in the only civilization having many people here and elsewhere who permit themselves the luxury of criticizing growth while benefiting from all the advantages. We are in a strange time when pessimism and doom are mistaken for wisdom. Yet, we’re in something of a difficult position --- Modern change in trends might have a nonzero chance of failure so long as we continue to push the envelope. It may be a valid point, humanity's inexorable drive to leverage and exploit increasingly advance technology. Then we look around and say "Yeah, man, I can't imagine what more I might want!" rather than "Please, let the others have something better than I have".

      When things are getting better and will keep on getting better in the world, we could stand as positive by-products of "growth"-- as we come out stronger, we'd have more educated population that can support itself while maintaining a high living standard. Indeed, if we manage to survive into the information age, the internet and the ability to broadcast, discuss and develop ideas, this may be the only thing that empowers us to continue to have a level of existence above mere simple subsistence. One can only hope!

      Regardless of any utopia or dystopia, an obvious fact so far is that, growth cannot continue forever. The point being, we are in danger of hitting the limits of our capability. Every change is a gamble. Where will advanced technology lead? Alike a perfect storm across the economic spectrum, it can make society as a whole more wealthy, or, it could someday cause a severe economic depression if we are not ready for the impact of rapidly advancing changes. When the world is littered with the remnants of civilizations that collapsed when they ran into a limit that they weren't clever enough to work around, it would be careless irresponsibility to simply assume that we are destined to succeed and enjoy the fruits of endless growth.

      Nearly everything in the developed world is enjoyed by incredibly wealthy over consumptive societies using plenty of excess resources. In an advancing technology-dominated world, all this is a luxury largely enjoyed by the developed world. If there will be no substantive across-the-board educational reforms, more and more people will be displaced from the traditional job ladder and find themselves either unable to get on or only able to get on at a lower level in so-called service industries.

      For the billions living in poverty, no information technology, no matter how great, is going to have any direct positive effect in their life. Ultimately poverty is about lack of resources, both physical/economic and political/social. The truth is the poor family in Central Africa to Zimbabwe that isn't getting enough healthy nutrients isn’t lacking information about better foods to eat; they simply can't buy them.