“What In the World is Happening to Our World?”

By Laureen Golden

Happy Wednesday! This week we’re exploring, “What’s Changing About Change.”So far we’ve looked at external change, noting it is now accelerating at a different rate than in the past. External change has shifted from LINEAR to EXPONENTIAL (a doubling pattern).

What’s important to understand is that this doubling pattern is challengingbecause

  1. Humans are not used to working with it
  2. The pattern itself is challenging to work with as it is “deceptive then explosive.

I had little familiarity with this doubling pattern aside from the brain game question, “Would You take 1 million dollars now or 1 coin multiplied every day in 30 days?” The first 27 days of doubling, and you still have less than $1 million (deceptive). However, in the last 3 days of doubling you wind up with an amount 5X the $1million (explosive)!

“Unlike linear growth, which results from repeatedly adding a constant, exponential growth is the repeated multiplication of a constant. This is why linear growth produces a stable straight line over time, but exponential growth skyrockets.”[1] (“How to Think Exponentially and Better Predict the Future” is a great resource to learn more! Lots of helpful illustrations and examples!)

So, in summary, external change has shifted from a linear to an exponential pattern. This doubling pattern can be tricky to work with because (1) humans are not accustomed to it and (2) the pattern itself is challenging as it is “deceptive, then explosive.”

[1] Berman, Dorrier, and Hill, “How to Think Exponentially and Better Predict the Future” from Singularity Hub