Knowledge Doubling Curve and You

in Knowledge

Welcome to the information age.

"... knowledge is doubling every ten years." Eric Johnson, president of the US Chamber of Commerce - in the mid-twentieth century - as he noted the constancy of change.

That was before the Internet. With the advent of the Web, knowledge was doubling approximately every 18 months by 2004, according to the American Society of Training and Documentation (A.S.T.D.).


IBM predicts that in the next couple of years, information will double every 11 hours


"As shown in patents and academic publication, knowledge doubles at different rates for different sectors, ranging from 2 years for nanotechnology to 21 years for other sectors." (newsfan)


Ray Kurzweil predicts within decades, he predicts, he will be billions of times more intelligent than he is today, able to read minds, assume different forms, and reshape his physical environment at will. So will everyone. Today's human beings, mere quintessences of dust, will be as outmoded as Homo Erectus.

All this, Kurzweil believes, will come about through something called The Singularity. Popularized more than a decade ago by the mathematician, computer scientist, and science fiction novelist Vernor Vinge, who borrowed the term from mathematics and astrophysics, it refers to the future point at which technological change, propelled by the explosive growth of artificial intelligence, will accelerate past the point of current human comprehension.


What happens when the rate accelerates to a doubling every month. Then knowledge will increase by 4096 times every year. (FairfieldLife)

So bottom line I guess - you get to pick the amount of knowledge we have or will have or might have, seems to know...about knowledge...exactly.


Honest its mostly guessing. High paid guessing and PHD guessing - but guessing. You know how many species of animals in the worlds there are? we don't know.

Why do we sleep? - we're not sure
Where does life come from? - we're not sure
Why is there something rather than nothing? That is why are we and the universe here, rather than not here? - we don't know.
How did language evolve? - we don't know.

There's more we don't know than we know. And what we "know', what is called 'information' - is mostly naming things. They were always here, its just now we have 'discovered' them and given them a name. And everytime we name something - its called knowledge. Its not, it's just a name.

Anyway. The point is. Relax. Information is for using, not memorizing.

Statistics are whats already here but re-arranged. The percentage of RBI's with or without steroids by (place players name here)... Well we may or may not know that name, we may or may not know, or care, he uses steroids, and the number of runs batted in expressed on a XY curve or a bell curve doesn't change the fact of your or my cancer or flu symptoms or knee scrape or pregnancy or job prospects. Its just stuff put together from other stuff and then called 'new' stuff

Science is about the same, there's nothing 'discovered'.You or I may not have know about protons before science' discovered ' them, but they were there, and scrambled eggs are still scrambled eggs with or without the proton factor.

OK Science is good for technology, good to allow us more...comfort.

All that I am saying is...

...calm down, its just stuff - and mostly, for you and me, not so important 'stuff'. How about we learn what we Don't need to know.

Tiny examples:

Homelessness - a cure. Its too overwhelming isn't it. It is said there are over a quarter of a million people homeless in New York City on any given day - 250,000 people. How much would it cost to fix that? - No-one has that much money to spare. But -

Apparently there are only about 2500 chronically homeless people. That is who no matter what happens will be homeless, due to medical or mental challenges. NYC is spending over $62 million annually on homelessness. That's almost $25,000 a year, every year. You want to fix homelessness in NYC - buy cheap housing, put in stand-by nurses and access to hospital care for those 2500. Cost less than $62 million over 10 years, 20 years. But that is not how we think, we want stats and bell curves, and we don't want to give to those down and outs when the single mum gets nothing - we have principles.But then our principles, and information get in the way of actual knowledge - so we fail.


The famous Rodney King beating and the L.A.P.D. Millions were spent on the L.A.P.D. and studies and reports and Commissions. Money was poured into better recruiting techniques and better training programs and graphs and diagrams and statistics were labored over. But The Commission report into the L.A.P.D. at the time found there were 44 - Forty Four hard core BAD cops who basically caused all the trouble. There were other cops who weren't perfect, but there were 44 hard core nut jobs. Fire the 44. You're done. L.A.P.D. resurrected. But we have so much 'information' how can it be that simple?

Really -

Its the old story - a the 80/20 rule. 20% of any number produce 80% of the problem, or the profit, or the work or the situation. 10% are the key movers. 1-5% are the core of the problem, or the solution.

But that is not a bell curve, that is not...fair. And we believe in fairness and statistical methods and more knowledge gathering until we can solve the problem.

That's our problem, there's always a few causing the much.And its always simpler than we think. And in an information crazy world (the Western World) where grants and money are tied to 'discovering' things. Simple lets face it - is not good.

But listen - its always simpler than we think.

Remember that about business, your internet business. No matter how many programs you buy, how many seminars you attend, how much 'knowledge' you try to cram into your brain. Less than 20% of anything is worthwhile. So settle down, back up. Pick a business niche or market you like, or likes you - and learn it.

Not everything about everything, just that key 2-10% that makes it all move, and then if you have tie the rest of the 20% - but honestly you don't need that much 'information'.

Learn what you don't need to know.

Most of the 'knowledge' is a luxury. Its because we can produce the numbers not because they have any true value. Its a rich society's way. Always.

(yes test and track, use all the analytics, but that not 'knowledge - that's tools - put them back when your finished with them).

Figure out all the little you need to know - and know that. Information is a tool - use when needed. And put it away. And in ten years it will still be less than 20% of the whole - and in 100 years. Because WE don't change. We are Singular. We are the singularity,in our own lives

WE can make as many stats and graphs and discoveries - but WE don't change. We love and hate and envy and desire and believe and distrust and care now and before. 1000 years ago and (if we are around) 1000 years from now.

A customer still wants or needs or desires fun or love or security or relief from pain or...well all the usual stuff. It doesn't change.Now and forever amen (perhaps?).

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Martin Gover writes about all kinds of stuff at

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Knowledge Doubling Curve and You

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This article was published on 2010/04/14