Posted by: Millard J. Melnyk | November 8, 2015

You’re All Wrong

Your beliefs are all wrong, all of yours and mine too.

Not just off. Not just some. Statistically speaking, all of them and all of us.

That’s not a slam. It’s a fact.

Buckminster Fuller created the “Knowledge Doubling Curve”; he noticed that until 1900 human knowledge doubled approximately every century. By the end of World War II knowledge was doubling every 25 years. Today things are not as simple as different types of knowledge have different rates of growth. For example, nanotechnology knowledge is doubling every two years and clinical knowledge every 18 months. But on average human knowledge is doubling every 13 months. According to IBM, the build out of the “internet of things” will lead to the doubling of knowledge every 12 hours.

— David Russell Schilling, Knowledge Doubling Every 12 Months

So by the time knowledge doubles every 12 hours, and then every 6 hours, and then every 3 hours, so much new knowledge will pile up so fast that everything you or I “know” will become statistically negligible — not even significant enough to be either right or wrong in the overall scheme.

The belief that somehow, magically or accidentally, most of what you now think you know will agree with what will be known then is about as reasonable as “knowing” that your next lottery ticket will certainly be the winner. Actually, your chances of being right about the lottery ticket are much higher.

Consider the following chart (click to enlarge)…


Most computational neuroscientists estimate human storage capacity somewhere between 10 terabytes and 100 terabytes. That’s the MOST you can know. Some even stretch it to 2.5 petabytes. Let’s split the difference and call human brain capacity an even 1 petabyte (New Zealand on the chart). That’s the most you can EVER know, because yo’ po’ li’l noggin just cain’ts hold n’more…

The annual production of information stands at 1500 petabytes. That’s 1.5 suns to your puny New Zealand. And the information/knowledge sun is entering supernova. Your brain is not. Soon the comparative metaphor will be the orbit of Pluto compared to New Zealand. You can’t even see Earth from Pluto, let alone tiny NZ.

But yet you’re willing to argue, fight, lose friends, alienate, disparage, demonize, or do other irreparable harm to your fellow human beings for the sake of a belief or an ideal?

Well then, you’re a fucking idiot (but there’s hope!) 🙂

I’d rather just be honestly wrong.


  1. Wow! I’m going bowling.

  2. Nicely done. Am coming out with a piece tomorrow about the lure of the mob mentality. Definite connection to the fear so many have of being wrong.

    • Thank you David! I’m following you, so I’ll get a notice in my email hopefully. I look forward to reading it. 🙂

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