Kurwell is optimistic on people being displaced by technology being able to find jobs. -JEM
It is amazing how fast 3D printing is advancing. Printing objects like shoes may be slow now, but printinting speed will accelerate. Can’t pass the background check for a pistol, no need to worry:http://printingjournal.blogspot.com/2012/09/3d-printed-guns-awesome-or-scary.html
By James Mallett
There is a saying, or just as likely a curse, that says: “May you live in interesting times.” Certainly the first decade of the twenty-first century was “interesting times.” 9-11, bubbles in stock prices and real estate valuations, the Great Recession, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the ascent of developing nations such as China and India all made it a decade to remember. My premise is that the next decade will likely be as interesting if not more so. The rationale for this premise is that the acceleration of technology has reached the point that in addition to creating additional economic wealth, advances in technology are having blowback effects that creates sustainability issues. These issues threaten the sustainability of nations’ economies and the global environment.
The term “blowback” is used by our intelligence services to indicate unintended harmful consequences on the populace due to covert military activities. I adapt this term to discuss technology blowback. Technology has brought the benefits of increased economic wealth, longer life expectancies and health to many humans. Still there has been negative consequences of the technological advances. We are doing great damage to the planet and due to the advances in technology; the threat of nuclear, biological, and other enhanced terrorist actions are a clear and present danger.
But why should the next decade be as “interesting” as the past decade? Ray Kurzweil, author of The Singularity is Near, makes a compelling case for exponentially accelerating technology. Although this advance in technology has been going on since mankind picked up the first crude tool, the technological base on which the advances are building are having an ever increasing impact on humans and Earth. While the advance of nuclear power has been with us for over sixty years, the next will begin a century with amazing biological break troughs. Digital technologies will continue their exponential growth through computers, software, telecommunication, internet, cloud computing, wireless, and entertainment.
Kurzweil has emphasized the positives of the acceleration of technology. Others, like Bill Joy, have written on the possibility of very negative outcomes. In this blog, I will point out the recent unsettling impact of technology advances and why we increasingly will wonder if we will ever experience a normal period again. It is imperative that we have leadership to handle the future challenges of accelerating technology and educate the populace on how to deal with living with ever accelerating change. Singularity University is an excellent start on developing leaders and education.
By James Mallett
The term for a rare event of high impact that has come into common usage is to call the event a Back Swan. This term comes from Nassim Nicholas Taleb who published a book with that title (The Black Swan). Our attention in the past decade has tended to focus on the negative events of high impact such as the 9-11 attack and the recent great recession caused by the asset/credit bubble. In general, the public does not give as much attention to the increasing occurrences of high impact positive events like cloud computing and smart phones. These high impact positive events I label as “Golden Eggs.” These Golden Eggs are becoming increasing common due to the exponential growth of technology operating on an increasing base of knowledge.
I have used the term “Blowback of Accelerating Technology” to highlight the negative high impact events which are occurring more often than in most past historical periods. The point of the Good-Bye Normal blog is to highlight that high impact events will be with us for the foreseeable future. I am posting links to articles that point out both the positive and negative impacts of exponentially growing technology.
By looking over the links on this blog, several interesting Golden Egg events seem likely to be occurring in the next ten years. Cloud technology will continue to advance. 3D printing will become more common in five years. Solar energy will possibility make up five to ten percent of our energy production by 2021. Biotechnology will continue to make increasing larger advances with positive impact on improving our health. There will be other Golden Eggs of high impact. While each are a rare events individually, the Golden Eggs will become increasingly common.
It is difficult to believe that robotics will not raise structural unemployment. Even skilled jobs won’t be safe from AI advances. -JEM
I am slightly optimistic that a solution will be found to provide people with jobs and access to most technological advances as time passes. It is is the interest of everyone in society that we do so. There is the possibility that the cyber-punk scifi writers will be correct and that we face a dystopian future.