Kurzweil on the law of accelerating returns

From Business Insider:

Computing exponential growthComputing exponential growth

To him, we’re somewhere in the middle of that chess board.

It should be pointed out that as the emperor and the inventor went through the first half of the chess board, things were fairly uneventful,” Kurzweil continues. The inventor was given spoonfuls of rice, then bowls of rice, then barrels. By the end of the first half of the chess board, the inventor had accumulated one large field’s worth (4 billion grains), and the emperor did start to take notice.”

And it’s only when a technology like a smartphone comes in and suddenly shifts our entire culture that we start to realise how quickly things are accelerating.

That’s because, Kurzweil says, humans are linear by nature — and technology is exponential.


As humans, we are biased to think linearly,” writes Peter Diamandis, the futurist and XPRIZE CEO. As entrepreneurs, we need to think exponentially.”


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