List created CC by Sean Moffit, Managing Director @Wikibrands


So much progress, what could go wrong?

I found this list as a post on fb. It shows all mayor tech developments in one go. But I wish, though, for an added list, with for each item a: biggest potential and the biggest threat.

Just check out the top ten (ranked in order). Then consider with each one a positive and a negative it may do for your life:

#1 Artificial Intelligence #AI /Machine Learning / Deep Learning

#2 Internet of Things #IOT / #IIOT & Sensors & Wearables

#3 Mobile & Social Internet — Advancements, Social Networks/Media, Search, Messenging and Livestreams

#4 Blockchain — Cryptocurrencies, Distributed Ledger Systems, DAOs, DApps

#5 Big Data — Apps, Infrastructure & Predictive Analytics

#6 Automation — Information, Task, Process, Machine, Decision & Action

#7 Robots incl. Drones & Autonomous Vehicles — Consumer/Commercial/Industrial Robots and Robotics

#8 Immersive Media — #VR/ #AR/ #MR/ 360°

#9 Mobile Technologies & Advancements — infrastructure, networks, standards, services & devices

#10 Cloud Computing — Software-as-Service (SaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) & MESH Apps

About pro and con’s

If you just did the assignment you can now make a lovely advertisement for each positive you came up with. And, on the other hand, you can make one dark SciFi movie with each negative scenario. This last side should be discussed more often. I’m weary of the “Finally, this is the solution!” announcements. They are as untrue as the daily announcements by Mr. Trump. There’s a story and it has sides. We can’t leave the storytelling only to the industries developing this, or to politicians who love those ‘enriching’ visits by the corporate lobbies. And because of that, and all the money on the side of hehaa-progress (“Hehaa!”, being a cowboys call to round up the cattle for slaughter. They’re ‘just doing their job’. The cows aren’t asked. They’ll be dead. Turned into flavorless junk food burgers.)

No real progress is possible without understanding implications.

As I discussed before, one can’t just implement any new advance without understanding context and implications. All scientific discovery and development has to take place in the wider context of whatever is researched, including the possible intentions of expected users. Those vying for wealth, power and control too will see many new opportunities. They’ll love all these new toys and will readily implement them according to their interests. Think potentially: AI+Big Data+spyware+face recognition can become 1984overdrive. Many will say, it’s already happening. Alexa, Google, your phone, the NSA are all already spying on you.

Consider whether your idea of progress will hurt others.

It is so evident how this works when looking back in time. For instance: the hope of the car has become the planet endangering oil industry. The chain saw is chopping down remaining forests in overdrive. Plastics are poisoning life in the oceans. The pill has become estrogen in our drinking water, reducing fertility in men. And anti biotics.. you know what I mean.

Our scientists invent forward with hope, always dreaming in solutions. Also industries and governments looking for control may apply each potential gift of the list quite differently than inventors expect. Remember Oppenheimer. He and others regretted helping invent the bomb for the rest of his life. This too is what inventors need to think about.

Will robots steal our jobs or liberate us from work?

So, for example, what happens because of the Robots revolution? When robots take too many jobs, will unemployment than become a curse for life? Will, as too often now, only the owners get all the benefits? And will all the unemployed then be treated like the problem? You know, paying their benefits cost us money? Or will it become a liberation? That might happen when we all benefit through basic income. Makes sense as the whole of society made the robot revolution possible, not just the last inventor. He or she is actually standing on the shoulders of us all, from the nurse that healed her, to the teacher and even the street cleaners, who picked up used needles before our inventor ran into them and picked up HIV from the encounter.

Interdependency is an inescapable reality.

Yes, because we are part of a huge interdependent web. Through strict division (think the limiting narratives of contracts, classes, nations, races, sub cultures) and individualization of who did what, we lose sight of the essential. All nature is one. Our society is one. If we make the industrial machine much more efficient, all it’ll do is destroy nature faster. I mean the eco-sphere, read the basis of our collective lives. People treating their profits as a separate reward for their own smart choices look more and more like pirates. This is perhaps more important than the whole top 40 ideas listed above. If we keep on acting without taking the essential into account we’re doomed. You could go as well start building a house of paper near a forest fire. When you do that, you’ll find, you can’t disconnect the two. So is our individual life connected to everything around us. Our lives are influenced by the hate, laziness, greed, creativity, love or lack thereof by others. A tiny wasp in your car can handicap you for life. And a child across the planet can write a song that heals your soul after the accident. We cannot tell in advance how each is connected to the other.

Towards interconnected progress.

Sadly many super billionaires too often lack empathy, let alone understand how everything else makes their life possible. They may not realize their effectivity is supported by their illegal migrant gardener, their legal migrant nanny, their private education and the teachers within, etc. They may think they own these people. And they often think it’s they themselves upon whom rests civilization. I think civilization rests upon everyone staying human in all circumstances.

Meanwhile the elite are leading us with their ideas of profit and progress all in grave danger. They’ll sell us the benefits, they’ll get richer because of the sales, and we all pay the price for what goes wrong. That’s how the world is currently is organized. How many reading this are even angry because these guys not even pay taxes for the huge natural clean up that needs to happen. They even stop ecological solutions, because they fear, it’ll cost them their profits. How to lead these people back to the interconnectedness? How to show them the effects of their current philosophy and what it might take to heal, read surrender back into the web of life as a whole. Scary? Yes, even for activists fighting for a better world.

The hope of new technologies ultimately rests in people.

As I have written once before: most chaos is created by those seeking to install or enforce order. Each new tech is such a plan for a new order. Progress moves on, but does it accept the whole of reality and does it help protect and heal the whole web of life? If not, then it’s not an innovation, but piracy. Then it will enhance chaos. Tech, though, can also help with running small organic farms in cities, on walls and rooftops. Tech may help people connect and discuss the essential. Tech may help protect all species in need of protection. So be real about the list above. It’s not saintly, nor promising solutions made in heaven. Tech can’t do that. We can, if we all collaborate in service of the eco-sphere that provides the conditions for life on the planet we call home. Let’s see how our tech innovations can help us do just that. Let’s act in such a way, we can have the biggest hope, they’ll actually do so.

For a deeper fundamental look, What Future Do We Choose?



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Floris Koot

Floris Koot

Play Engineer. Social Inventor. Gentle Revolutionary. I always seek new possibilities and increase of love, wisdom and play in the world.