An Arrow That Always Gains Speed

I was recently in the Romano-Germanic Museum in Cologne. Honestly, normally I’m bored in ancient history museums, but I did something different this time and it was a pretty cool experience. I gave myself an audio tour. But by ‘audio’ I mean audiobook, and one that was not at all related to the museum. It was actually an audiobook of “Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think”, which I paired with the museum like the right wine with a tasty meal, or a poem with a song. I stood in front of this collection of arrowheads, and listened to some stats about the rate of human progress.


Staring at that, while listening about the ever quickening rate of human progress, brought home an important message. While some of those arrowheads were 27,000 years older than some of the other arrowheads, I couldn’t for the life of me tell you which was older or younger. Some of the styles appeared to be entirely unaffected by time, not being improved upon for thousands of years. Its damn difficult to name some sort of technology from the modern age that hasn’t been vastly improved on in the last hundred years, let alone one thousand. And I’m not just talking about computers.

Moore’s Law is that transistor density doubles every two years, or more simply: computing technology is advancing exponentially. In the book Abundance, authors Diamandis and Kotler make a very convincing argument that this law applies to much more than computers. Basically it applies to most everything human culture is involved in. Its pretty wild if you sit and think about. Human progress is like an arrow that continually gains speed as it moves forward. The difference in technological capabilities between you and your grandmother is going to be vastly smaller than the difference in technological capabilities between you and your granddaughter (provided you have one, of course). Expect big, great things from the future.