As defined by

Ray Kurzweil in his book "

The Age of Spiritual Machines", the

law of accelerating returns states that time

exponentially speeds up in a

system in which

order is increasing exponentially. He claims that

time speeds up, because the length of time between

salient events grows shorter as time passes in a system with exponentially increasing

order.

He uses this concept to illustrate how the increase of technology and order is actually causing time to accelerate exponentially, and must therefore eventually reach the "asymptote" of the exponential equation, a concept he will cover in more detail in his future book "The Singularity".

The opposite of the law of accelerating returns, in Kurzweil's definition, is the law of increasing chaos, which states that as chaos increases exponentially in a system, the period of time between salient events grows longer, and therefore time slows down.