In a review of the new MacBook Pro, Yuval Kossovsky says (emphasis mine):
Having said that, I can tell you this laptop is fast. Really fast. I am hesitant to say it’s exponentially faster than the G4 version, but subjectively, this baby cooks.
I'm sorry but it really annoys me when people abuse the term "exponentially" this way. It's meaningless to say that one thing is exponentially faster than something else. Of course it is. Anything faster is going to be exponentially faster.
If something is 0.1% faster it's still exponentially faster. The base is just 1.001.
Talking about things as increasing exponentially only makes sense when you have at least three data points. But even so, in the case of three data points you are just saying that the ratio of the third to the second is the same as the second to the first. It could be a small ratio.
The significance of being "exponentially" faster really only starts to kick in when you have more and more data points.
It certainly makes no sense to talk about one thing as exponentially faster (or higher or whatever) than another. Given that it is trivially true, it makes it even worse that Kossovsky hesitates about it.
The original post was in the category: linguistic_observations but I'm still in the process of migrating categories over.
The original post had 5 comments I'm in the process of migrating over.