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TotD: Ray Kurzweil on Change

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Thought of the Day | Posted on 03-09-2008

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Ray Kurzweil, The Sin­gu­lar­i­ty is Near: When Humans Tran­scend Biol­o­gy

Cen­turies ago peo­ple didn’t think that the world was chang­ing at all. Their grand­par­ents had the same lives that they did, and they expect­ed their grand­chil­dren would do the same, and that expec­ta­tion was large­ly ful­filled.

Today it’s an axiom that life is chang­ing and that tech­nol­o­gy is affect­ing the nature of soci­ety. What’s not ful­ly under­stood is that the pace of change is itself accel­er­at­ing, and the last 20 years are not a good guide to the next 20 years. We’re dou­bling the par­a­digm shift rate, the rate of progress, every decade.

The whole 20th cen­tu­ry was like 25 years of change at today’s rate of change. In the next 25 years we’ll make four times the progress you saw in the 20th cen­tu­ry. And we’ll make 20,000 years of progress in the 21st cen­tu­ry, which is almost a thou­sand times more tech­ni­cal change than we saw in the 20th cen­tu­ry.

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