Global Business Network is one of my favorite sources. To me Peter Schwartz, Stewart Brand and Eamonn Kelly are leading thinkers. In this short PDF document Eamonn Kelly - author of the highly acclaimed (futuristic) book Powerful Times - sheds some light on four key drivers of value creation in the coming decades.
The reasons for posting this one are the importance of the Gift Economy (see also the recent remarks by Kevin Kelly, Yochai Benkler and Don Tapscott), the revitalization of the Physical Infrastructure Economy (creative new insight) and most importantly the coming BANG convergence. BANG convergence is bigger than the current Digital Convergence and it relates to Bits, Atoms, Neurons and Genes. This is one of my favorite topics for a very long time as a result of reading the book Complexity. A life changer to me ! After reading this book in 1993, I was lured to the Santa Fe Institute as an inspiring knowledge platform for BANG convergence. It inspired me to read great books by Stuart Kauffman and Ilya Prigogine. And when we watch all those outstanding videos on TED we can see by our own senses why the BANG convergence is the biggest value creator of our times.
A fantastic post by Larry Sanger on Edge on Wikipedia and other forms of mass online opinion. It is about subjectivity and objectivity, about equal access and authority, about meritocracy and reputational systems. Sanger is co-founder of Wikipedia and started a competitor called Citizendium (Wikipedia with real names and experts-integration). Sangers' deepens my previous posts on journalists and bloggers, on who controls entries on Wikipedia from a PR point of view and on Jaron Laniers' Digital Maoism. Highly recommended reading and watch out for Citizendium to grow rapidly ! "Diversity
and independence are important because the best collective decisions
are the product of disagreement and contest, not consensus or
compromise. An intelligent group, especially when confronted with
cognition problems, does not ask its members to modify their positions
in order to let the group reach a decision everyone can be happy with.
But that's exactly what happens on wikis, and on Wikipedia. To be able to work together
at all, consensus and compromise are the name of the game. As a
result, the Wikipedian "crowd" can often agree upon some pretty
ridiculous claims, which are very far from both expert opinion and
from anything like an "average" of public opinion on a subject. I
don't mean to say that the Wikipedia process is not robust and does not
produce a lot of correct answers. It is and it does. But the process
does not closely resemble the "wise crowd" phenomena that Surowiecki is
desire for fairness creates hostility toward any authority—and not just
when authority uses its power to gain an unfair advantage, but toward
authority as such. That is, the most radical egalitarians
advocate that our situations be made as equal as possible, including in
terms of authority. But, in our specialist-friendly modern society,
expertise can confer much authority not available to non-experts. Perhaps the most important and fundamental authority experts have is
the authority to declare what is known. This authority, then, should
be placed in the hands of everyone equally, according to a
support meritocracy: I think experts deserve a prominent voice in
declaring what is known, because knowledge is their life. As fallible
as they are, experts, as society has traditionally identified them, are
more likely to be correct than non-experts, particularly when
a large majority of independent experts about an issue are in broad
agreement about it. In saying this, I am merely giving voice to an
assumption that underlies many of our institutions and practices. Experts know particular topics particularly well. By paying closer
attention to experts, we improve our chances of getting the truth; by
ignoring them, we throw our chances to the wind. Thus, if we reduce
experts to the level of the rest of us, even when they speak about
their areas of knowledge, we reduce society's collective grasp of the
is no exaggeration to say that epistemic egalitarianism, as illustrated
especially by Wikipedia, places Truth in the service of Equality. Ultimately, at the bottom of the debate, the deep modern commitment to
specialization is in an epic struggle with an equally deep modern
commitment to egalitarianism. It's Truth versus Equality, and as much
as I love Equality, if it comes down to choosing, I'm on the side of
David Pescovitz (a.o. from BoingBoing) on a short survey done with the IFTF and IEEE on the next fifty years of innovation. When will 3D-TV and the universal language translator become mainstream ? And what about quantum computing, cold fusion, speech recognition, virtual 3D worlds, ubiquitous/pervasive computing, mass space travel, robotics, genetic/DNA profiling, solar energy, nanotechnology, 3D printing/desktop fabs, RFID, brain-machine interfaces, simulations of all human senses and fuel cells ?
As the IEEE is at the very forefront of many technological advances, this is an important survey. They rave about RFID and ubiquitous computing just like I did in Q1 2005 in this post.
Below a quote from this survey on virtual 3D worlds. This strikes me as it is strongly related to Transformation and Serious Gaming/Simulations. In fact, it is a very powerful combination of these trends on personal/individual level in a real sense. In my earlier post on Identity, Authenticity and Creativity and in this one on Parallelism you can read similar thoughts. We have learned by playing Sims and other games that there is "un-do button" to boost tactical and strategic learning. Now, we can soon extend this functionality into our real lives beforehand. Amazing ! This will increase self awareness and the current health trends. "Most Fellows believe that within 10 years, interactive computer graphics will be so lifelike that it will be hard to distinguish on screen between what is real and what is “virtual.” Everyone will be able to do sophisticated simulations that let them see, hear and even feel inputs and outputs. Computing pioneer Alan Kay believes that we are at the dawn of a new type of literacy—simulation literacy. Imagine running simulations of your own life, say, by asking how you would look if you lived on a vegan diet or ran 16 kilometers a day."
Prospect Magazine invites 100 thinkers from many fields to give their views on this century in this post. It concerns many views on politics, economics, sociology, environmental issues, religion, technology and science.
Below a quote from Brian Eno which resonates with me as it points out that underlying importance of technology (mainly biotech and IT) on this century. "Globalists vs nationalists
How prepared are we to allow national governments the freedom to make
decisions which may not be in the interests of the rest of the world?
With issues such as climate change becoming increasingly urgent, many
people will begin arguing for a global system of government with the
power to overrule specific national interests.
Communities of geography vs communities of choice
At the same time, some people will feel less and less allegiance to
“the nation,” which will become an increasingly nebulous act of faith,
and more allegiance to “communities of choice” which exist outside
national identities and geographical restraints. We see the beginnings
of this in transnational pressure groups such as Greenpeace, MoveOn and
Amnesty International, but also in the choices that people now make
about where they live, bank their money, get their healthcare and go on
Real life vs virtual life
Some people will spend more and more of their time in virtual
communities such as Second Life. They will claim that their communities
represent the logical extension of citizen democracy. They will be
ridiculed and opposed by “First Lifers,” who will insist that reality
with all its complications always trumps virtual reality, but the
second-lifers in turn will insist that they live in a world of their
own design and therefore are by definition more creative and free. This
division will deepen and intensify, and will develop from just a
cultural preference into a choice about how and where people spend
Life extension for all vs for some
There will be an increasingly agonised division between those who feel
that new life-extension technologies should be either available to
those who can afford them or available to everyone. Life itself will be
the resource over which wars will be fought: the “have nots” will feel
that there is a fundamental injustice in the possibility for some
people to enjoy conspicuously longer and healthier lives because they
happen to be richer."
This TEDTalk from Janine Benyus on Biomimicry - Innovation Inspired By Nature really hit me on many levels. It is about the way evolution and nature has solved different problems in ways which we can use for solving our human problems. Highly imaginative and recommended ! This is also the first TED video I have seen in which the speaker is encouraged to continue her speech after closing. Just like I felt watching it :-)
Ever since I read the classic Out of Control by Kevin Kelly in 1994 my professional view on nature has changed and my hunger for books, articles and posts on biology has increased steadily. The 21st century clearly is the century of biology (biotech, nanotech, bioinformatics, neurobiology of the brain). On top of that, in 1996 during my first 11-week trip in South East Asia I discovered the sheer beauty of nature. It was like the difference between looking and seeing. The seeing of nature and its beauty (rafting, diving, hikes, jungle trips, birding, views, sunsets etc.) enchanted and inspired me. There was a certain depth and emotion to it, living in the moment. Seeing nature for what it truly is, not rushing by, looking at it as if it were decoration only. And this great video from Janine Benyus shows that this openness and curiosity towards nature is crucial for cross-fertilization of ideas and solutions, especially in a world of increasing environmental issues like global warming, water management, loss of biodiversity, deforestation, loss of corals, air pollution and synthetic waste.
Ok, this is highly speculative but here goes anyway.... looking forward to your comments ! It is about three key concepts (parallellism, evolution and antropocentrism) and its impact on digital media.
Parallellism: existence of parallel universes, quantum mechanics (possibilities) and dreams. We seem to live multiple lives and in multiple environments.
Evolution: evolution of evolution (even the speed of light constant itself changes over time), evolutionary/expanding universe, evolutionary timescale/geology/tectonic plates, evolution of species and Gods Delusion. Static solutions, explanations, values and theories give way to dynamic versions. All is in flux.
Antropocentrism: Ptolemeus -> Copernicus (earth-centric became sun-centric view of solar system); evolution of species (we are similar to the apes); dark matter and energy unknown -> we consist of only 5% of the known matter of the universe and extra terrestial intelligence probably exists (Drake's equation). All this implies that increasingly humans are not (!) the center of the universe.
How does this all relate to ICT and digital media ?
Serious Gaming (parallel strategic gaming and thinking before implementing IRL)
3D Worlds like Second Life (parallel worlds and identities)
Augmented and Mixed Reality (combining physical and digital experiences)
Hardware, software, services, content and connectivity increasingly become hackable, remixable, reconfigurable, open, dynamic and evolutionary. E.g., Amazon with web scale computing
Evolutionary blog posts, articles ; they become conversations, open ended, self correcting and organic documents
Bots, AI and machine (besides human) learning within Semantic Web (Web 3.0)
The internet of things (pervasive or ubiquitous computing)
Google Tech Talks on Google Video is similar to TEDtalks and both are an infinite pool for high-end inspiration on many many fields and it encompasses all the tags in my blog. Both are very highly recommended ! This is the future of eLearning. Kevin Kelly's talk on Google Tech Talk on the Scientific Process is interesting due to his reference to Synthetics/Simulations as ways to expand ourselves and our understanding.
The coming weeks I will report back on some of the most outstanding videos on Google Tech Talk.
New Scientist - one of my favorite sources on the Web - inspires me once more with this high-end overview of the last 50 years of key scientific articles combined with predictions for the coming 50 years, touching most scientific subjects and key emerging topics. Views from Jaron Lanier, Bill Joy, Martin Rees, Daniel Dennett, Edward Witten, Susan Greenfield, Jane Goodall, Rodney Brooks, Kip Thorne, Freeman Dyson, Antonio Damasio, Steven Pinker, Edward O Wilson, Paul Davies, Steven Weinberg, Benoit Mandelbrot, Francis Collins and even the Dutch Frans de Waal and Gerard 't Hooft. Impressive...WOW :-)