State of knowledge
A lot has happened since IBM introduced the computer in ’81, you could even say that it has changed the way the world works right down to the core. But I think the most important thing that the PC—and later the internet—has contributed, is the difference in speed that knowledge has started to spread across the world.
Imagine the difference, today it takes a matter of thousandths of a second to upload a text to the internet, instantly making it available to anybody, anywhere. Its predecessor—the fax (actually short for facsimile)—could deliver a semi-complex message across the world within a few minutes but before that you basically had to print a book and distribute it, then get it in the hands of the right person that can make something of it.
The rise of search engines has changed a lot of things too. I can now search for, “how to perform a heart transplant”. It might not provide me the ability to perform the transplant instantly, but the knowledge is there for me to read, and if I spend enough time I could probably succeed at performing one in a couple of years. Who knows?
One of the most important things that has been happening lately is the intersection between different fields of knowledge and the possibilities that are derived from it. I recently met a former headmaster of one of the biggest universities of Sweden who is now part of a lot of committees that work solely towards merging different disciplines. She expressed her struggles with getting this to work and I told her that I think it's a matter of generations until she won't need to to force it down the throat of people.
State of technology
Looking at the state of knowledge you would almost expect to see a lot of cool things happening around the world by now. I’m thinking about Star Trek, Star Wars or at least George Orwell’s 1984 kind of things. But how come we aren’t there yet? Why do I have to sit on an airplane for eight hours from Stockholm to New York? Following the curve of the human ability to dream and explore, I think we at least should have the option of beaming our way there by now, right?
The way I choose to look at it is - technology isn’t moving fast enough. The reason for this is beyond me. We have had the ideas and visions quite clear to us for decades, but still we are moving in a disappointingly slow pace.
Meanwhile, there are a lot of people out there claiming that we are moving too fast, that maybe we don’t need to lower the time between Stockholm and New York, but I beg to differ. We haven’t found the cure for cancer, we haven’t found the solution to poverty, so how can it be moving too fast? Regressing human technology and achievements may in some cases solve a lot of short-term climate issues—which of course is a good thing—but we could also strive to go even further, ahead of the curve, and allow technological advances to restore and repair the wounds that seethe open since the industrial revolution.
State of ethics
I recently listened to an interesting talk about ethics conveying that even though a lot around us is evolving, the ethics revolving our society has remained unchanged for the last thousand years. We are still afraid of change despite the fact that we are a result of it. Just look at the rise of racism in Europe and North America right now, more and more are influenced by racist thoughts and neo-nazi organisations.
I’m not going to claim that Tuzame can change the world in the big scheme of things but I’m quite sure that by making life better for at least one person, you will inspire to change the lives of the many in the long run and thus allowing the world to change.
State of entrepreneurship
In Sweden we have recently started to see a rise in Social Entrepreneurship, which truly is a great thing! The problem that comes with it is that the ideas more often than not are connected to tech and then we are back to today’s biggest issue when it comes to technological development: the shortage of technical knowhow.
I meet people everyday with life-changing ideas. Ideas that potentially could grow to become a true game changer in their respective areas. They have a solid business plan, a great idea of execution but no technical knowhow to actually manufacture their product or solution. This is not only sad, it’s reactionary, like society standing on the edge of a giant school of fish, trying to catch something with a broken net.
Imagine if we were in a world where this wasn’t the problem. I mean, imagine if the technological knowhow was out there in abundance. What could happen? Probably anything and everything!
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