The Real Beanstalk

July 29, 2009


I know you don’t believe in magic beans, right?

Or that something could grow through the clouds overnight. Additionally fairy tales of magic beans that can grow into the clouds overnight are flights of fancy and fruitless exercises of the  imagination and have no relationship to reality, right?

Well Jack we are all sitting on the magic beans and they have begun to sprout and we are heading to the clouds.

Before I explain what I am talking about let’s review linear and exponential expansion. Remember when gasoline was .25 a gallon?  From that point in time you can graph the change of prices over the years to the present and it would be pretty much an incremental  linear growth.

What is exponential growth?

Well , if you could, how many times would you have to fold a piece of paper paper


that is .0039 inches in thickness




to where it would reach the moon?


No I am not crazy!

Each time you fold it the paper doubles in size.

the 1st fold doubles the thickness from .0039 to .0078 inches.

The 2nd time it’s folded the thickness goes from .0078 to .0156 inches.

By the 10th time it is 4 inches thick.

By the 23rd time it is 1 mile and 172.6 feet in thickness!

By the 35th fold the paper would be 4229.89 miles in thickness!

See what is happening?

By the 41st fold the paper is 270,713.09 miles in thickness! (the moon’s average distance is only 238,857 mile away!)

Ready for the question?

At what fold was the paper half way to the moon?


Ready for another?


What would be the amount given you if you worked for $.01 the first day and $.02 the second day and continue doubling each day for thirty-one days?

What would you receive on the 31st day?




At what day was the amount half way, that is $5,368,709.12?

THE 30th DAY !


Here is the beanstalk we are all sitting on!

Everyone knows that the top intelligence in the world is homo sapien, the human being and that he has ceased growing in intellectual ability, the maximum limit being an IQ 150.

Integrated circuits since 1964 have been doubling in power and halving in price every two years. It’s intelligence being no greater than a tapeworm. But now that has all changed!

In 1996 the crown of chess champion has been taken from man and given to the computer.

How many doubling have occurred for the integrated circuit?

11 TIMES !

Besides the taking of the crown for chess champion in February 1996, the computer now is undefeatable by a human being.

Now we fold the paper 8 more times!

On March 13, 2004 came the Darpa Challenge for a computer to navigate a car without a driver, and without assistance, a 142 mile course in the Mojave desert; all contestants failed. The furthest distance accomplished was 7 miles!

Fold the paper one more time!

On October 8 2005 the second attempt was made on a different course one that was 132 miles long and off-road.Vehicles in the 2005 race passed through three narrow tunnels, included more than 100 sharp left and right turns. The race concluded through Beer Bottle Pass, a winding mountain pass with sheer drop-offs on both sides.


Five of the twenty-three contestants finished!


Fold the paper once more!

On November 3, 2007 at the site of the now-closed George Air Force Base the Darpa Urban Challenge began!

The course involved a 60-mile urban area course, to be completed in less than 6 hours. Rules included obeying all traffic regulations while negotiating with other traffic and obstacles and merging into traffic; all this in rain and fog!

Six of the eleven contestants finished. Carnegie Mellon’s entry named BOSS won the Challenge!


The paper is still being folded!


Yes those tiny little integrated circuits, it is so fasinating as we look down on them from our position of higher intellect to see them grow in intelligence.

You can almost imagine them matching us in intelligence some day.

Whoa! the paper is not finished being folded!

SOON!  It will pass us up in intelligence and go right through the clouds to be unmeasurable in it’s IQ!

I know, you don’t believe in Ogres that are bigger and smarter than people and live above the clouds, Right? 🙂