This book concerns us all: it’s a forecast about how exponential technologies will shape our future. As the title suggests, the author presents some rather bright outlooks.
The era of exponential development and accelerating returns is already here in information and communication technology. While Moore’s law might be valid only for computing power, what if similar trends exist in the fields of energy, biotechnology or medicine? An assumption even more realistic given that bio- and nanotechnology are backed by ICT, thus the effect is expected to be synergetic. If biotech is in its early days now, in the beginning of the exponential curve (like ICT was in the sixties and seventies) what can we expect from the steep rise that is ahead of us? If we have a personal computer, can we have a personal medical laboratory as well? Our genomic fingerprint on a magnetic card, perhaps, so that we can buy personalized medicine in the pharmacy on the corner?
Of course, there are legitimate concerns about each emerging technology. The author also discusses the potential dangers of these technologies, and gives plenty of further resources to continue reading about the topic. The huge corporations that rule the biotech industry is just one example of the dangers of these technologies. But what if we could have independent companies that develop open source GMOs? Just like the open source movement in the world of software, I think it’s a feasible and promising way of doing things in that industry. Inspiring!
The emphasis will be less on making money and more on making contributions, or at least creating an interesting life.
In 1862, 90 percent of our workforce were farmers. By the 1930s, the number was 21 percent. Today it’s less than 2 percent.
So what becomes of these millions of blue-collar workers? No one is entirely certain, although it’s helpful to remember that this isn’t the first time automation changed the employment landscape.
Most importantly, the game itself is no longer zero-sum. For the first time in forever, we don’t need to figure out how to divide our pie into more slices, because we now know how to bake more pies. Everyone can win.
He described three stages to their development. “In the beginning,” says Clarke, “people tell you that’s a crazy idea, and it’ll never work. Next, people say your idea might work, but it’s not worth doing. Finally, eventually, people say, I told you that it was a great idea all along!”