On our Yahoo Mailing list Joschka aka Joseph posted some questions to my Moore's Law 40 already? post. I wrote a reply but unfortunately only to him. He was kind enough to post it to the group, but with all the >> and line breaks it is almost unreadable. This is why I repost on the Weblog. I also wanted to have the link to Carl Sagan's Cosmic Calendar here too.
> Exponential growth...of what? Knowledge?
Yes knowledge as well as technological change. Would I have loved to have Google and Wikipedia at my fingertips when I grew up. Would have made a world of a difference to me. I love Google's define: <word> feature.
> What's more what portion of the world is and isn't involved in this? Or is not affected?
As our friends at Worldchanging are posting almost every day the whole world is affected. Third world contries are less restricted by old ingrained systems for example through intellectual property rights, therefore they may leapfrog us in many areas.
If you really want to hear it first hand come this Friday the 15th to the Future Salon with MIT Professor Neil Gershenfeld. He took his Fabrication Laboratories to rural areas in India and Norway. The kids there were so excited, that they didn't want to leave the lab. That also opens new possibilities regarding education. It is happening everywhere, may be not with the same pace.
> This "Change" is it a thing in itself and not really effecting the rest of the world? If so then to what extent?
As Kurzweil writes, this accelerating change looks like it is a fundamental law of the universe. Big bang at the beginning with incredible things happening in the first seconds of the universe and then rapidly slowing down.
A great illustration for that is Carl Sagan's Cosmic Calendar, where he is shrinking the lifetime of the universe 13.7 billion years into one calendar year.
By the way if last second before midnight equals Voage of Christiopher Columbus, then the follwoing calculation can't be true: Within the scheme of the Cosmic Calendar, an average human life of 70-80 years is equivalent to approximately 9 cosmic seconds! Because having lived about half of my expected life I should be 4 to 5 seconds into the cosmic calendar, but I didn't witness the (re-)discovery of America. From a cosmic perspective our lives are more in the area of 0.09 cosmic seconds. Equivalent to a finger snip :-) But may be I am missing something.
See you on Friday, Mark.