Friday, June 2, 2023
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Is This the Biggest Shortcoming of the Human Race?

At SubOptic 2023, my colleague Tim Stronge and I introduced again the Telecom Mythbusters to check a brand new collection of myths.

I already lined my first two myths from our presentation: the cable lifespan fable and the 99% fable.

My third and closing fable—the exponential progress fable—relies upon a quote that I discovered.

“The best shortcoming of the human race is our lack of ability to grasp the exponential perform.” –Albert Allen Bartlett

The Supply of This Fable

Al Bartlett, a professor on the College of Colorado, is thought for delivering an hour-long lecture referred to as “Arithmetic, Inhabitants, and Power: Sustainability 101” a whopping 1,792 occasions.

The main target of this lecture was on exponential progress and the
influence on inhabitants progress and power consumption.

What Is Exponential Development?

As you’ll see within the slide under, exponential progress happens when a amount will increase over time in proportion to its present worth. It’s usually seen when it comes to proportion progress or as doubling time.

SubOptic Myth 4-1

The chart plots exponential progress because the aqua-colored line and linear progress because the darkish blue line.

Within the linear progress sequence, the y-values enhance by an increment of three every interval. Within the exponential progress sequence, the y-values are multiplied by three over every interval.

You may see a a lot greater progress price occurring with exponential progress.

Why Is Exponential Development Exhausting To Grasp?

Dr. Bartlett talked about how laborious it’s to know exponential progress in his lecture, utilizing an instance with micro organism.

SubOptic Myth 4-2

Dr. Bartlett’s instance—illustrated above—supplied the next assumptions.

There’s a jar with micro organism in it, doubling each minute. At 11:00 a.m. the jar has one bacterium, and 12:00 p.m. the jar is full.

Dr. Bartlett would then ask the viewers two easy questions:

  1. When is the jar half full?
  2. How full is the jar at 11:55 a.m.?

The primary reply is fairly apparent. We all know that the jar is doubling each minute, so it have to be 50% full at 11:59 a.m

The second half—how full the jar is at 11:55 a.m.—was Dr. Bartlett’s most important query for the viewers. And the reply is 3%.

Stunning, proper? 5 minutes till the jar is completely full, it’s solely at 3%.

Let’s Check Ourselves—With a Submarine Cable

Tim Stronge and I tackled this fable and 5 others throughout our presentation at SubOptic 2023.
Obtain our slides for the total breakdown.



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