Thiel and Cutler on Exponential Thinking

Despite being rooted in middle school math, exponential thinking is hard. We live in a world where we normally don’t experience anything exponentially. Our general life experience is pretty linear. We vastly underestimate exponential things. —Thiel

By the time that 29 minutes have passed there are now 536,870,912 bacteria.  They have used over half of their resources, but they look around and see that they still have half of them left and it took them 29 turns to get here, so they have to have a little time to figure out how to get out of this mess.  On the 30th turn, the population doubles again and now there are 1,073,741,824 and they are out of room.  When a population grows by doubling in size, it by definition will go from 50% resource utilization to 100% in one time period. That was both obvious (mathematically) and shocking to me. — Cutler