BH21C #6 — Baby Take My Hand… Don’t Fear the Future

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We don’t have to look far to find examples of just how much the world around us is changing thanks to technology. What continuously baffles me is the fact that we are not doing much to rethink our own lives at a very deep level, we don’t talk about how we have to evolve in order to keep up with these changes.

I hope that you’ll join me on the journey of trying to figure out just what it is that we need to do to realize own our full potential, maximize the quality of the relationships in our lives, understand our meaning in life, and leave society and the world in a slightly better place than it was when we got here.

Baby Take My Hand… Don’t Fear the Future

Naturally, this has to start with Don’t Fear the Reaper (more cowbell!).

Where were we? Right, being human. I read an article this week that blew my mind more so than ones about us being able to control robots, a real babel fish (instant voice translation), or using DNA or atoms for data storage. It talked about creating buildings that hang off of asteroids, although it seems the likelihood of this happening soon has been diminished by pending NASA budget cuts. To make this work, we have to be able to control the trajectory of these floating astral behemoths, which, apparently, is a thing. This may be of no surprise to those who stay on top of space news, but to the uninitiated, the idea of controlling natural objects that float in space is pretty insane. It conjures up Sci-Fi ideas and my first impulse was to think this is crazy and something we should shy away from. No matter how much more I learn about technology, whenever I hear of something that fundamentally pushes the boundaries of what we as humans are capable if, I catch myself reacting with fear and reticence.

This fear is very natural. Fear has been hardwired in us as a way to be aware of and avoid things that can cause us great harm. And it doesn’t help at all that the media loves playing off of this with lovely headlines such as Amazon is going to kill more American jobs than China did or Military action against North Korea ‘an option’, warns Rex Tillerson or Threat or Opportunity? Blythe Masters Talks Blockchain Jobs Impact. It’s not that these articles qualify as yellow journalism by any means, but they are phrased in ways that might subconsciously make us fearful of these changes (and what’s the first thing we should do then? Read the article! Granted, we are rarely given both a contextualization about how this will benefit you as the reader and what changes we can make in our lives to maximize this benefit).

When I take a step back from my natural response, I remember that despite how scary ideas such as this (asteroid based buildings) are, they signify our collective potential. Despite any issues we can point to in the world, if we take the time to investigate, we can find dozens of examples of how someone is using technology and embracing the unknown to find new solutions to old problems. Existing tech (even 3D printing) failing around solving the problem of organ failure? Some scientists are using spinach leaves to create the shell to support a heart. Government policies failing the people and diminishing currency value? Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies offer an alternative. Educational systems got you down? Check out what Singapore is doing.

I love the above quote because it symbolizes that we are generally quite bad at really understanding what we need and want. We may think we know, but the reality is our opinions, thoughts, and desires have been tremendously shaped by those around us. That’s exactly why we shouldn’t let our natural impulses get in the way of exciting advancements (outside the context of tech, we shouldn’t let fear of the unknown get in the way of trying new things in life and improving ourselves as individuals). Without the limitation of fear, we can focus on creating our own exciting IoT solutions, making sure that libraries are a crucial part of our digital future, using alternative energy for a more sustainable future, using AI and robotics to our advantage, and using data to unearth all kinds of patterns and ideas that we just can’t without mass analysis. So baby take my hand… and don’t fear the future!

Top Three Articles

Inside the Hunt for Russia’s Most Notorious Hacker — Wired
Rahm Emanuel: Be Idealistic and Ruthless — Stanford GSB
Six charts that illustrate the divide between rural and urban America — The Conversation

You can see a full list of content consume here.

Happy learning!