Arnold Kling

The Optimist

Arnold Kling, Great Questions of Economics
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Ray Kurzweil is an extreme optimist with regard to economic growth.

Evolutionary processes accelerate, and the returns from an evolutionary process grow in power. I've called this theory "The Law of Accelerating Returns." The returns, including economic returns, accelerate...

The genome project, for example, was not a mainstream project when it was announced. People thought it was ludicrous that you could scan the genome in 15 years, because at the rate at which you could scan it when the project began, it could take thousands of years. But the scanning has doubled in speed every year, and actually most of the work was done in the last year of the project.

Kurzweil foresees ever-accelerating change, implying ever-accelerating economic growth.

Discussion Question. Kurzweil predicts that we will see as much change in a decade in this century as we saw in the past 100 years. Does this seem plausible?

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