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Unperceived changes followed by dislocating explosions

Hal Abelson, Ken Ledeen, & Harry Lewis say…

Exponential growth of anything can suddenly make the world look utterly different than it had been. When that threshold is passed, changes that are “just” quantitative can look qualitative.

Another way of looking at the apprent abruptness of exponential growth – its explosive force – is to think about how little lead time we have to respond to it. . . . At what point was it only a half as devastating? . . . The answer is on the next to last day. . . .

The information story is full of examples of unperceived changes followed by dislocating explosions. Those with the foresight to notice the explosion just a little earlier than everyone else can reap huge benefits. Those who move a little too slowly may be overwhelmed by the time they try to respond. [Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion, pp. 9-10]

How is your school system responding to some of the exponential, qualitative changes that we are experiencing in our information landscape?

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