The Exponential Age

From my reading of The Exponential Age, by Azeem Azhan

My favourite parts of this book are the history of exponential growth of technologies (computerization, computing power, shipping, among others), and the contemplation of how ongoing innovations that are already happening will reorganize societies.

Exponential growth does not stop when the limits of one technology is reached.  Innovation in the transistor, which had grown exponentially over the last many decades, led the early exponential growth of computing.  Once the speed at which we improved transistors started to slow, the exponential growth moved elsewhere.  In this case, to the availability of computing power.  Exponential forces stack and follow one another.

Exponential effects also came about with standardization.  Once a universally accepted guideline for shipping containers was put into place, the global shipping capacity continued to grow with every added port, ship, and truck.  It unleashes an uninhibited spread of the core design.  The pieces fit no matter who or where they are created.

The core technologies underlined in the book are: Genetic Science, 3D Printing, and two others i cannot remember.

But the point of the book is not that things change fast, but that they change faster than we can adapt at first.  So at the onset of all introductions of new technologies a shock to societal norms and existing institutions will occur. It is not until time passes, (in the slower cases a generation or two) later that the people are able to address the systemic inequities that emerge.  We'll need to work a lot to improve the exponential gaps that have been expanding.

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