The descent of phone

Tom James @ 16-01-2009

lilypadsGlancing back in time at the evolution of electronic gadgets like mobile phones you realise what futurist Ray Kurzweil means by the intuitive linear perspective (described by Kurzweil here) – the difficulty we humans have with intuitively grasping the impact of exponential growth (as exemplified by the water lily story) and improvement, from 10 Great Geek Gadgets:

Cellphones have evolved so fast even last year’s models are already uncool. Go back a few more years – or watch most any 90s sitcom like Seinfeld – and you’ll be reminded of how things used to be. Rewind back to the beginning and behold the behemoths: how did we ever walk around with those things?

Kevin Kelly has some thoughts on the nature of the exponential growth of knowledge, most notably that as we learn more our ignorance increases (SRSLY check it out).

[via Bruce Sterling][image from BinaryApe on flickr]