(Or at least had suggested the old maxim for the motto. But still we rolled our eyes.)
He liked to try to impress us with his store of Knowledge—Knowledge with a capital Old English-style K! And here is the kind of quiz he used to give: (But first, his instructions: “Use only a No. 2 pencil. Do not make any stray marks on the test paper. Do not start until told to do so. You may start… now.”)
“What manufactured item is expanding more than twenty times faster than any other product on the planet? And has been increasing at the rate of greater than 150 percent per year for many decades?”
A. Knowledge B. Ignorance C. both A and B D. neither A nor B
Today, the fastest growing thing in the world is information (as calculated by Google’s economist Hal Varian), which paradoxically drives both knowledge and ignorance. Technological wonders like the Hubble telescope and the electron microscope have not only expanded what we know, but also what we don’t know, since each new discovery breeds at least two more questions.
So while our knowledge is expanding exponentially, our ignorance is expanding exponentially faster—which means that the widening gap between the two exponential curves, as my math teacher, Mr. Garland, would point out, is itself an exponential curve!
Fascinating bit of data there. But what does it have to do with my job performance? And how do I use it to expand my leadership impact? (more…)