Further to my question on the usage of “workingest” in the Time magazine’s article (November 14), “Whatever happened to upward mobility,” I noticed the word “inflection point,” in the following sentence in the same article:
“International Monetary Fund research shows that countries like the U.S. and U.K. are more prone to boom and bust cycles. And they are ultimately at risk for social instability. That the inflection point that we are at right now.”
I am not clear with meaning of “inflection point” and the difference of it from other resembling expressions, such as “turning point,” “diverging point,” "bifurcation" or “junction.”
Apart from a bookish mathematical definition of the inflection points as “the point where the function changes concavity” with an example equation, “f(x) = x3”, which I found in www.clas.usb. edu, what does “inflection point” mean in the contest of the above sentence?
Is this phrase interchangeable with other analogies as shown above?