Right. So let’s get back to this, shall we?
I find the best way to re-engage someone after some time away is to just ramble incoherently until they figure out how to grab hold of the conversation and pull it in some meaningful direction. Given that we’ve had some time away from this blog, let me start babbling and you can take this somewhere more useful in the comments section. Or not. Whatever.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve become quite enamored with the underlying concept of the internet, the new digital world in which we live and how the future is going to play out. I’d like to say I’ve come up with a Single Unifying Theory of The Information Age, but alas it remains just out of reach. What seems clear to me, however, is how technology and our expanding knowledge is fundamentally changing the world. It’s hard to find a corner of society that has not been touched – if not completely rearranged – by computers, the internet and the social-economic-psychological disruptions they have wrought. Newspapers, books, music, film, radio, television, social interaction, communication, banking & financial institutions, social investment (like Kickstarter), education, and on and on, have been turned on their head. As we continue to see the wave of revolution wash over the landscape, I’m sure anything not directly touched will find itself altered indirectly.
We’ve seen smart phones sweep the globe and bring communication and the sum total of human knowledge along with them. On the horizon, I expect robotics and augmented reality to come more to the front. And we’re going to see the future be about automation, virtualization and segmentation. With improved technology and an ocean of sensors – not to mention geo-location and ubiquitous wireless connectivity – there’s going to be a lot that can be done by robots that might previously have been the domain of unskilled laborers. Any products or services that don’t have to be physical, and have not already been overtaken by their digital counterparts (think music or books), will see their monopoly diminish. And with the powerful platform for creation, promotion and distribution that is the internet put into the hands of common people around the world, I anticipate a growing market of niche products and services that can be both implemented and consumed by small groups – unlike the large production and distribution chains needing even larger target markets to be sustainable.
Look at me, prognosticating about the future of technology and society like I have some kind of specialized knowledge or skill set pertinent to the conversation.
Truth be told, I’m just excited about the possibilities. I think there’s going to be some serious growing pains as the world is turned upside down. Established industries are going to suffer losses or fall entirely. Things are going to be in turmoil for a while. But I think the end result is going to be pretty cool.
If you have any thoughts on the matter, I’d love to hear them. Post in the comments below or tell us about it on our Facebook page.
And if this was a boring return, I apologize. We’ll get it next time. Promise.