Technology is really about connectivity.
We live in a period of hyper connectivity made possible by some [incredible] technology advancements over the past few decades. Its hard to image a time when this wasn’t the case — but in reality that time wasn’t all that long ago. I didn’t even have a smartphone in high school, and I’m young! … right? When I was in high school, starting to really get into physics and math, it seemed clear to me that the coolest most awesome thing I could do in technology was build rockets and spacecraft. I dreamt of exploration and discovery — will we go back to the Moon? to Mars?? to Pluto???
Now I am deep within the space industry. In fact, my day job is to literally fly spacecraft [from the ground :’( unfortunately]. This involves communicating with and commanding three story tall machines that are over 22,000 miles away moving at over 6,500 mph. I know what you are thinking, “cool”. For the whole 20 years each spacecraft is up there we make sure it’s where it needs to be (yes, it has rockets) and doing what it needs to do. I could talk all day about “the how” we do what we do (because it’s the coolest most awesome thing I can do in technology) but the main point of this post is “the why”.
“The why” is important because it relates to the title of the article. “The why” is connectivity. We launch these quarter billion dollar machines into space simply to further connect the planet. Voice, video, and data across the whole planet pretty much sums it up. So if you are ever climbing Mt. Everest and are craving a cat video, you are welcome.
I am not saying that all technology is solely about connectivity but I am saying it is more so than it has ever been. Looking at recent[ish] history there has been the Financial-Agricultural Revolution (1600–1740), Industrial Revolution (1780–1840), Technical Revolution (1870–1920), Scientific-Technical Revolution (1940–1970), and now we are in the Information and Telecommunications Revolution (1985 — present). At the moment I have devised a very complex mathematical equation to describe why it is that we are in this revolution.
(Information * Connectivity) = Knowledge = Power = $$ = da good lyfe
Take a second to digest my mathematical genius…
Everyone would agree that economics drive every revolution. Whether its agriculture, transportation, or information - the desire for da good lyfe is always the key driving force. But now that we have entered this period of hyper connectivity — what is the future of our current revolution? How much more information can we digest? It would seem that there are some indications that we are getting closer and closer to saturating the demand for knowledge every day. What happens when we get there? Does this revolution end and the next one start? What is the next revolution?
I don’t have the answer to that question; in fact, all anyone can do is speculate for the most part. It’s hard for me to accept that our generation is anymore omniscient than the farmer 400 years ago that wouldn’t be able to grasp the concept that in 400 years he could not only plant corn but could then instantly capture a digital representation of that corn and wiggle some electrons up and down a small wire at a certain frequency so that another bigger wire a few miles away could sense it and send it to lots of other wires so that the whole planet can see exactly what he sees. Or that we have robots on Mars… Or that… well, you get the idea.