Exponential Change Or Bust

A friend put forward to another that the rate of technology advancement is increasing and these advancements could well eliminate our demand on high carbon energy. This person in return retorted that these are fairy tales.  I thought about this for quite some time as I do agree that technological change could solve many of the ails that we face in very short order, and I don't think these are fairy tales to be so casually dismissed, but I am more and more worried by what could go wrong.

Humans view the future on a linear line. What happened yesterday will happen tomorrow. However, change is not linear. It is exponential. The combination and multiplication of what happened yesterday will be what happens tomorrow. We humans look straight, change is a curve, an exponential curve, that is in front of us. This is no fairy tale. We could, in very short order, have technology that solves most of our problems.

However. The fairytale could end badly.

Very powerful lobbies, self interest groups, growing protectionism and fundamentalism, concentrations of wealth, lack of progress within our educational institutions, militarization, the massive job losses that technical disruption is causing, financial meltdown which is more or less a given, or a severe technological screw up (which is very likely) could throw all of this change into a sideways or downwards spiral.

We are walking a very thin line right now...