Friday, February 01, 2008

5 minutes to midnight?

First, a link I stumbled across:
The End Of Money?

The writer starts out explaining what FSK calls "The Compound Interest Paradox". But he goes on to make the further explanation that money growth is exponential(but not continuously/smoothly so).
I think this quote is extremely illustrative:
Bacteria grow by doubling. One bacterium divides to become two, the two divide to become 4, become 8, 16 and so on. Suppose we had bacteria that doubled in number this way every minute. Suppose we put one of these bacterium into an empty bottle at eleven in the morning, and then observe that the bottle is full at twelve noon. There's our case of just ordinary steady growth, it has a doubling time of one minuet, and it's in the finite environment of one bottle. I want to ask you two questions.

Number one; at which time was the bottle half full? Well, would you believe 11:59, one minute before 12, because they double in number every minute?

Second Question; if you were an average bacterium in that bottle at what time would you first realize that you were running out of space? Well let's just look at the last minute in the bottle. At 12 noon its full, one minute before its half full, 2 minutes before its ¼ full, then 1/8th, then a 1/16th. Let me ask you, at 5 minutes before 12 when the bottle is only 3% full and is 97% open space just yearning for development, how many of you would realize there's a problem?

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