What makes you T.I.C.?
What do technology, innovation, and creativity have in common? The first two seem to be identical. But the third seems to be out of place; this is because creativity could only seem to be confined to the domain of the arts. As we shall see, however, these three are interrelated in the space we are in blockchain and crypto. These are exciting times that we live in, an unprecedented era of technological Cambrian explosion. For us to appreciate this period, however, we shall first discuss the significance of these three terms: technology, innovation, and creativity.
Whether you love technology or not, you cannot escape it. You are surrounded by it. For example, you may only think that technology is about electronic devices, but technology is everywhere. But before we go further, let us agree on a definition of what technology is. Technology has been defined as “the application of knowledge for practical purposes.” Now if you think of electronic devices such as a smartphone or a computer, you are correct.
However, in its broader sense, technology could also mean the house you live in, the shoes you wear, or the vehicle drove to go to your destination today. Remember, technology means knowledge applied for practical purposes. The keyword is practical. To proceed, the simple ballpoint pen (ball pen) you use to write your notes on a piece of paper is technology. Can you imagine if we did not have ball pens? The world would have been more challenging to live in. Therefore, in its strictest form, we cannot avoid technology but coexist with it.
Innovation could be mistaken for technology. True, they are both used interchangeably. But for the sake of our discussion here, let us differentiate innovation from technology. While technology applies to tangible products such as a house, a phone, and a computer, innovation could be thought of as an intangible improvement in how we have been doing things. While technology is tangible, innovation is abstract.
For instance, lining up in a queue to order food at the counter could be considered an innovation. If there was no line, there would be chaos. People would just squeeze against one another to order food. But because we intuitively sense that a line could make things efficient, we queue up. It’s a form of improvement to make the existing way of doing things more smooth. This is innovation.
Government is another form of innovation. If there was no government, people would look after themselves without the protection of the police. There would be anarchy. The physically strong would bully the weak with impunity. There would be no justice system, no form of the monetary system, no public roads, and no recognition of property ownership. Without a form of government, you can manage a handful of people living together. But if you have tens of thousands of people, you have got to innovate, improve the way we interact with one another, and administer resources. And in this context, a form of government is essential. This is another example of innovation.
Now you may only think that creative people are artists. Sure the domain of the arts allows for creativity in the most liberal way. One definition of creativity is “the use of imagination to produce an original idea that is both novel and useful.” Based on this, you may not be able to think that there is room for creativity in other fields. Could science with its strict methodology allow for some creativity? We shall see.
You may get surprised, but the field of science makes room for creativity. Remember that the scientific method is a process, a way of doing things. And sometimes modifying the process can give birth to new ways of discovering things. Many scientific discoveries were products of creativity on the part of their inventors. Dudley Hersbach, for instance, won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1986 because of his creativity, combining a technique in physics called molecular beams and applying it to his field in chemistry. Creativity is everywhere, not just in the arts.
Make me T.I.C.
As we have discussed, our world is full of technology, innovation, and creativity. When you bought your smartphone, it was a “blank slate.” Now you innovate by rearranging the apps that you often use. And it’s your creative expression. You customize it. You encase it in a protector in your favorite neon color. You have even jailbroken to introduce an operating system that is safer from malware. It’s our natural tendency to innovate our lives in creative ways. That’s what makes us tick, or in this case, that’s what makes us “t.i.c.”
Yes, blockchain technology is an innovation. It’s changing the way we interact with one another. It’s disrupting the internet. Big institutions such as banks and giant social media companies are threatened by it. There have even been talks about establishing new types of nation-states existing only on the web that could eventually operate as though it’s sovereign with their currency and physical territory. All of these are happening because of blockchain.
As revolutionary as it sounds, the newly-discovered blockchain is a combination of not-so-new applications. Among other things, blockchain is the result of already-existing technology such as the Merkle Tree, named after the computer scientist Ralph Merkle. Another already-existing technology that led up to the blockchain invention is cryptography, simply defined as the art of writing or solving codes. Blockchain did not appear out of anywhere; its parts have been around decades before it was born. And it is gaining popularity among technologists.
Crypto enthusiasts marked the year circa 2008–2009 as the beginning of a new era. It’s similar to the Before Christ (B.C.) or After Christ (A.D.) notion. To these supporters, it feels like blockchain grants liberation from the oppressive fangs of centralized institutions. With blockchain, people can store their private data independently and freely. People can also express themselves as creatively as possible without the threat of censorship from platforms such as Youtube and Facebook.
No wonder technologists consider the period since blockchain was invented the new Enlightenment, a modern Renaissance if you will. When Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1450, it changed the world. People could rapidly print information at breakneck speeds. Similarly, a few years after Bitcoin, blockchain technology has been tweaked and modified to find new use cases. This excites futurists. For now, though, the two most popular use cases or applications are digital currency (DeFi) and digital art (NFT).
After blockchain, people, both technical and non-technical, have been afforded creativity on an unprecedented scale. These creative founders are making a killing from their projects. Their creations, whether smart contract codes or weird-looking arts have been assigned value of disproportionate scale. For example, NFT arts have been sold and resold for several millions of dollars. Smart contract use cases for DeFi applications are attracting hundreds of millions of dollars in liquidity. A new type of wealth has been created with blockchain.
If you are still wondering how else blockchain is going to change the world, you are not alone. Even technical people at the forefront of this revolution are themselves wondering how the world is going to look like a few years down the road with blockchain. Therefore, if you want to start somewhere, you can follow us on all our social media platforms to learn about the exciting times during the blockchain revolution.
On the 21st of August 2022, the offline event called ticTALK 101 shed light on the current and future landscape of the blockchain space in the Southeast Asia region, specifically in the Philippines. ticTALK is an acronym. It stands for: “technology, innovation, creativity TALK.” The essence of this event is what this content is all about. We believe that blockchain will have a positive impact on humanity. To watch the whole program, please click the link here: TICTalk | Raising Awareness on Technology in Southeast Asia