Volatility is not Dynamism

“Your iPhone is all that is left of your once limitless future” ~ Eric Weinstein

There is a difference between volatility and dynamism.

There is a difference between invention and innovation.

There is a difference between technological adoption and technological disruption.

There is a difference between technology that accelerates and (re)distributes that future, and technology that expands and creates the future.

There is a difference between technologies that distract us from the status quo and technologies that destroy (or create) the status quo.

There is a difference between technologies that make our lives better and technologies that help us to accept the lives we have.

There is a difference between the real economy and the parasitic digital (platform) economy.

I agree with Peter Thiel in his essay Back to the Future.

When you take away our shiny distracting screens, most of the significant technology we have “invented” (virtually all digital infotech tools, practically nothing tangible) and adopted since I’ve been alive has done little to fundamentally change our lives in any meaningful way other than by increasing material inequality (by enabling centralisation of power and money while decreasing immaterial inequality (through access to communication and information).

We are obsessed with re-cutting the pies we have rather than with baking new pies.

In short, we are in a mini invention dark age, and we’re so distracted by AI, VR, AR, (all the acronyms) and online entertainment that we didn’t even notice…

(That said, I suspect the next real breakthroughs, the ones that really will change life a way that will make our grandchildren’s lives unrecognisable to our grandparents will come from the realm of biology and the blending of organic and inorganic technology, as we redefine both what is artificial and what is intelligence. )

PS: That is not to say society has not changed in recent decades – what technological development we lacked we more than made up for in the shifting social zeitgeist…

 

 

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