Our world has experienced an incredible amount of progress in the last 100 years. Progress has been upward and onward, resulting in a rapid acceleration of change. Just think of: the speed of travel (our family took 23 days to travel to the USA via boat back in 1972!), the power of computers (the internet wasn’t available until the mid 1990s – now just over a decade later, over 1.4 billion people use it regularly!), technological advances, etc.

Change is no longer ‘linear’; it is now ‘exponential’.

To illustrate how rapidly exponential numbers accumulate, consider the following example …

If you fold a piece of paper in half forty-two times, how thick would it be?

Thick enough to reach from here to the moon! That’s surprising, isn’t it! If you don’t believe me, click here to see the math.

This illustration helps us appreciate the radical impact accumulative change can have on our lives. Of course, the result of all of this exponential change is STRESS! According to Doctor Richard Swensen, high levels of stress follow progress and change just as exhaust follows traffic. It’s unavoidable.

Pause and think about that.

… more on the topic of stress on Monday.

Enjoy your weekend!

3 thoughts on “The Impact of Exponential Change

  1. If only NASA knew about this paper folding trick, it could’ve saved them some stress over the years, heh, heh.
    Mind you, have you tried folding a piece of paper 42 times? That could cause you some stress.

  2. I read on the internet that the record for folding a piece of paper is 8 times and one other place where someone did it 12 times. Obviously, 42 is out of the question!

  3. No doubt there is a secret division within NASA dedicated to developing a more easily foldable form of paper, so that in future, humans will be able to travel to the moon by climbing up a tower of folded paper.
    They would probably need rockets and space ships and things to do the last few folds, so I’m not sure it works out to be a great advantage, but still, at least they could wave it in the face of the other space race contenders, such as the Chinese: “You think your paper lanterns are cool? Hah! Check out our paper moon ladder!”
    On a picky note, I’m not sure change was ever linear. The early stages of exponential don’t look much different from linear, though. The curve starts off flattish and then shoots through the roof.
    Monday – what better day to talk about stress?!

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