Key Principles To Understanding How Technology Will Change Our Future

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is NOW.

— Chinese Proverb

In 1964 Gordon Moore, the founder of Intel, wrote an internal paper where he made a shockingly BOLD prediction.

Gordon Moore, 1965

Gordon Moore, 1965

Moore looked at the progress of the semiconductor industry over the previous 5 years. He noticed that the number of electrical connections on an integrated circuit (computer chip) had doubled every 12 months to 24 months.

Also known as exponential growth.

Moore predicted that the computing power of integrated circuits would continue to double every 18 months for the next 10 years. Meaning computers would get much faster, smarter and smaller every 18 months. [1]

People thought he was crazy, but 50 years later his prediction has become a self fulfilling prophecy which has emerged as a driving principle for exponential change in western society. His initial prediction is now known as Moore’s Law.

For non-nerds, this is the driving force that allows you to have more computing power on your iPhone than the entire flight crew had during the Apollo 11 mission which landed on the moon in 1969. [3]

 

Technology and Change

As the exponential rate of change in technology speeds up, so does the exponential rate of change in our everyday lives. Unlike the +1 progression of linear growth, where 1+1+1+1+1=5. In exponential growth 1+2+4+8+16 = 31 and so on.

Exponential change has been hard to understand for humans because we evolved in a linear world. Back in our caveman days life was local and everything that happened, occurred within the daily activities of our tribe. The rate of change was also linear, meaning nothing really changed or was innovated. In other words, your caveman ancestors didn’t need to learn Microsoft Excel in order to compete in the workforce. 

Our brains were never designed to process the modern rate of change and have a very hard time understanding the territory ahead of us. 

 

Seeing Into The Future

Perhaps the best predictor of the future is Exponential Technology Researcher Ray Kurzweil. He’s so good at what he does, that Bill Gates called him “the best person I know at predicting the future” and Larry Page hired him as Google’s director of engineering.

Kurzweil has made many predictions about the future, many of which have come true. In regards to exponential learning, he made this prediction about the year 2019

By the year 2019, most human workers spend the majority of their time acquiring new skills and knowledge.

— Ray Kurzweil

If this is true, than the best skill you can have is the ability to learn information and apply it faster than ever. [2]

The time to start is NOW.

 

CROSSING THE “OH SHIT!” GAP

It’s 2015 and we are entering a new age in technological advancement. A lot is going to happen over the next 35 years.

The people that embrace exponential learning will drive this revolution and will be our future presidents, leaders, billionaires, and top entrepreneurs. 

Note: These are extremely conservative projections. 

Note: These are extremely conservative projections. 

Crossing this Gap is going to require a new set of tools and strategies. It’s going to demand that we throw away the current rule-book and start working smarter (not harder).

 

Here’s the Problem:

Most people work hard, but they learn slow and are going to get left behind. 

Most people go to college, settle down and then stop learning. They get a job in specific field and then learn just enough to punch the timecard for the next 40+ years. After the age of 25, they continue to learn at the same rate. 

They don’t take the time to learn the skills that would separate them from the crowd. They give into apathy and become content. 

If you are going to be a driver of change over the next 35 years, it’s going to require a massive shift in mindset, awareness and most importantly - the ability to learn new skills faster than ever. 

If you are going to be a driver of change over the next 35 years, it’s going to require a massive shift in mindset, awareness and most importantly – the ability to learn new skills faster than ever. 

Getting Ahead (The Secret Sauce)

We need to address the strategies for exponential learning (working smarter not harder). From there we’ll talk about the secret sauce behind exponential learning and the dirty secrets behind silicon valley’s top execs, entrepreneurs and how they are staying ahead of the curve. 

Next post, we will touch on:

But… before then.

Here’s Your Homework:

If the future only holds more complexity and change, the time to prepare is NOW. 

STOP to look at your current rate of learning in the following categories. START by taking the inventory and writing down your answers (Be honest with yourself):

  • Distracting Activities: How much time do you spend doing mindless activities that waste your day?
  • Books: How much time did you spend reading last year? Did you retain the information you read?
  • Courses/Seminars/Coaches: Which resources did you use to improve yourself?
  • Your Income: Did you make more money last year? Your income is generally reflective of the amount of information that you turned into value.

DO tune in to the next post to take your rate of learning to the NEXT level.

 

Sources:

  1. 1965 – “Moore’s Law” Predicts the Future of Integrated Circuits – The Silicon Engine | Computer History Museum. (n.d.). Retrieved April 7, 2015, from http://www.computerhistory.org/semiconductor/timeline/1965-Moore.html

  2. The Re-Working of Work. (n.d.). Retrieved April 7, 2015, from http://www.iftf.org/our-work/global-landscape/work/the-re-working-of-work/

  3. Diamandis, P., & Kotler, S. (2012). Abundance: The future is better than you think. New York: Free Press.

  4. Diamandis, P., & Kotler, S. (n.d.). Bold: How to go big, achieve success, and impact the world.

  5. Lau, D. (1963). Tao te ching. Baltimore: Penguin Books.

  6. Oka, T., Yamamura, Y., Ichikawa, J., Yokoyama, Y., Oka, T., & Kurachi, M. (n.d.). Influence by Psychological Effects on 1/f Fluctuation in Brain Waves (ALPHA. Waves). Nihon Hotetsu Shika Gakkai Zasshi, 612-616.

  7. Ray Kurzweil, “The Law of Accelerating Returns.”

  8. Alpha brain-wave neurofeedback training reduces psychopathology in a cohort of male and female Canadian aboriginals. (n.d.). Retrieved March 13, 2015, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23341412

  9. Toward using alpha and theta brain waves to quantify programmer expertise. (n.d.). Retrieved March 13, 2015, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25571208

  10. De-stress, stress survey, well-being, stress solutions, lower stress, stress management tools, Institute of HeartMath. (n.d.). Retrieved March 13, 2015, from http://www.heartmath.org/

  11. Alpha Brain Waves. (n.d.). Retrieved April 3, 2015, from http://www.biocybernaut.com/alpha-brain-waves/

About Ben Austin

My friends call me the illegitimate love child of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill Nye. I’m a bodybuilding-yogi-science loving-foodie bringing an engineering approach to lifestyle design. Join me as I analyze the systems that go into optimal mental and physical performance and explore the stories and tactics of people who set the standard for the rest of us.

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