Potential Nested Accelerating Returns Logistic Growth in Big History

Author: LePoire, David
Almanac: History & Mathematics:Big History Aspects


The discussions about the trends in rates of change, especially in technology, have led to a range of interpretative models including accelerating rates of change and logistic progress. These models are reviewed and a new model is constructed that can be used to interpret Big History. This interpretation includes the increasing rates of the evolutionary events and phases of life, humans, and civilization. These three phases, previously identified by others, have different information processing mechanisms (genes, brains, and writing).
The accelerating returns aspect of the new model replicates the exponential part of the progress as the transitions in these three phases started roughly 5 billion, 5 million, and 5 thousand years ago. Each of these three phases might be composed of a further level of about six nested transitions with each transition proceeding faster by a factor of about three with corresponding changes in free energy flow and organization to handle the increased generation rate of entropy from the system. Nested logistic transitions have been observed before, for example in the ongoing exploration of fundamental physics, where the progress so far suggests that the complete transition will include about 7 nested transitions (sets of subfields). The reason for this number of nested transitions within a larger transition is not known, although it may be related to the initial step of understanding a fraction of the full problem. Too small of an initial fraction would lead to incomplete problem scope and definition. Too large of an initial step would lead to complications between the development of basic understanding and higher level derivations. An original step of one-seventh of the problem ends up within one standard deviation from the inflection point (mid-way through the transition).

Keywords: Big History, logistical growth, complex adaptive systems.