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Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

Is Technology Taking Mankind To An Unhealthy Place?

I have been talking about technology for over 30 years, in my opinion, technology is taking mankind to an unhealthy place. There I’ve said it. Many of you think I am a pro technology man, more than I am a pro business man, the reality is, I’m both, but technology is merely a tool to get business done, even though technology is leading us down the road Neo in the Matrix have been down before.

I was born in the late 50’s, I’m a Baby Boomer, I have seen technology evolve, technology started it’s takeover of mankind with the handheld calculator. When I was in school, it was forbidden to use a handheld calculator in class, today, you can’t finish school without one. Technology is now raising generations unable to think, the arts are being eliminated because technology wants to do all the creative thinking for us. Everything technology today has gotten smaller, so small it can be injected into your blood stream, blood cell sized nanobots! These types of technologies will eventually make us live for ever, birth perfect babies, have perfect health. Ray Kurzweil predicts the singularity, where technology and man merge, will become a reality by the year 2045. Technology is being embedded into everything, including the human body. Is this a good thing, I’m not convinced it is just yet.

RFID chips were to be injected or planted into humans at one time, this can be done today, but I think the push back has forced big brother to shift gears. Instead of planting or injecting, the technology is carried by you and I through credit cards, bank debit cards, drivers licenses, and all these chips can be scanned by anyone as far as 50 feet away. That means the dark side can scan your credit card, create a new card with your account details, almost, if not, completely steal your identity. All this in the name of technological progress. For every technological good, there is an equal bad for all of us. We are more willing to embrace carrying these technology cards because they aren’t intrusive, it’s not painful or difficult to do, but that isn’t entirely true is it? We are being lulled into carrying these cards, using all these cool mobile device, geo-location, the 4squares and the like. We can’t not be found, everywhere we go we can be tracked, and most of us are happy about it. But what if there is a war of any-kind, corporate war, technology war, or a war where life is threatened. Those in the working corporate world become the enemy, those who work for technology companies, countries and man against man all become the enemy, where then do we hide? We can’t.

There is a a scripture in the bible that states, the meek (weak) shall inherit the earth, maybe it should be the Geeks shall inherit the earth. As much as I am concerned where technology is taking us, I also see much good, but I more worried about the consequences of a society that is too eager to embrace any technology without having some foresight. Everytime we mess with the human body, the earth, and or creation of anykind, we put ourselves in a place that can’t be reversed, is that smart?

Man is the problem, we complicate everything, we shackle ourselves, we don’t really know what we are dealing with in the bigger picture. People far smarter than I believe they know what they are doing, I’m suspicious to be completely transparent. So what do we do, we can’t go backwards, it’s too late. You couldn’t take technology (computers) out of our homes, our cars, our businesses, or take away handheld devices, we would be completely immobilized.

I get nervous everytime the major tech companies come out with a new product, we tend to do everything in our power to get in line to get it, without even thinking if we need it. Our future needs better planning behaviour than having the latest greatest in our hands, life is not about having the most toys, and or about being the first one to have it.

As you can see I’ve been ranting, I am worried about mankind, I am worried about you. We all were created to do something great on this planet and it’s different for each one of us, we were DNA’d to play a role, to make this world a better place. Technology doesn’t solve that problem, it merely allows us to get more done in a day, nothing more. There are no shortcuts.

Stephen Covey once said, “we are the only creatures on this earth that have the ability to stop and think before reacting”, let’s all exercise that muscle when it comes to embracing new technology or existing technologies. It may be too late, younger generations, the under 20 and generations to come may not be taught to stop and think. There is a huge discussion here, and I am only scratching the surface, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Do you believe technology is taking mankind to a healthy place?

The Future Of Business – Technology & Tourism

Seth Godin made the statement, While We Weren’t Paying Attention, The Industrial Age Just Ended. If that’s true, the masses of the world are in for change never experienced before. Although technology appears to be driving this change and new world of business, it’s more about how you and I think, to be more specific, how younger generations think.

In The Future Of Business series, I have been sharing insights on various industries, what we might expect to happen in the next 3 – 5 years. In this post I’m going to take a look at Tourism, this is an interesting topic because it is such a huge buisiness, somewhere around a 6 Billion dollar industry. But how will this shift from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age impact Tourism? It’s hard to tell at first glance but lets look at some obvious things that technology may introduce.

I can remember as a kid looking forward to summer, every summer my Mother & Father would take us someplace and it was always far enough away you couldn’t walk home. I could hear Mom & Dad discussing, planning and strategizing months in advance, we were going east or south, that meant Manitoba or the USA. My Dad would never stop either, if we were going from Calgary to Winnipeg (14 hours of driving) he was going to do it in a day, if we were lucky we might stop for potty breaks. The stops were never at a fancy restaurant or hotel, they were rest stops with smelly unclean outhouses. I know this sounds like abuse by todays standards, but that’s what it was like travelling with my family back in 60’s and early 70’s.

One of the saving grace’s on those trips were Tourism Offices, a place where we could pick up a map, a coffee or candy. More importantly, they had washrooms! Something I noticed in these kiosk like buildings was, you would find things there you couldn’t find anywhere else. Local artists would have paintings and or carvings, jewellery and what have you, interesting and talented people figured out it was a great place to sell their work.

Jumping ahead to today, and not much has changed in these groovy little Tourism Kiosks, why? Interestingly enough, the problems the Tourism Industry had back when I was a boy, they still have today. It’s always about funding and how these non-profit organizations have to conform to some very rigid groups and influencial people. I understand the problem all to well because, I used to be Vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of  Tourism some 20 years ago. Tourism used ot be under the Chamber domain, today they are independant, out on they’re own.

Now the Canadian Tourism Commission (which is well funded) has culled some series data about where and why people come to visit Canada, it’s called Explorer Quotient, something to put in your toolbox. Here is the EQ presentation made by the CTC.

These groups have something we didn’t have 20 years ago, not even 15 years ago, we now have the Internet & Social Media. Tourism is struggling in this space because they don’t have the resources to create, invite or listen to what we all want. The opportunities are unlimited now for tourism and other non-profit organizations. I learned recently that the Green Bay Packers FootBall team is actually a non-profit organization!

There are a number of tools tourism could take advantage, they are already in place, like Foursquare and Gowalla, these are the low hanging fruit today, but in the next 5 years we will see some very interesting technologies that Tourism will leverage. In the future, we will be able to travel to far away places in the comfort of our own home via Virtual Reality. You may stop at a Tourism Rest Stop and sit down with a virtual reality headset and walk around the very community you are about to enter. You will be able to get key information on the top tourist stops while there, enjoy a cup of coffee at the same time. You will have the opportunity to get special deals you can’t get anywhere else in that town, only at the tourism office. You will have the opportunity to opt-in while touring the area digitally, yes the tourism will be able to track where you are via a smartphone, they will be able to forward information and real-time specials happening for a limited time.

Through your smartphone you could contact them on Twitter to make reservations at a restaurant or hotel. Most businesses will be on these social networks, they will over special deals and opportunities you find in the local paper. Maybe these businesses will accept FaceBook & Twitter Credits as payment. According to those two social networks credits will be offered July 1st, 2011. We’ll see how to roles out but it opens the door for local businesses and especially the tourism societies to partner with local or far away businesses for visitors in the tourism kiosks. We could help our local tourism by donating FaceBook & Twitter credits for them to use with local businesses, so many ideas can come from this topic alone. And these credits or points can be used anywhere in the world!

The sky is the limit here, if you can think it, you can probably do it. Technology is making it easier, what other ideas do you think Tourism could do to attract visitors?

Missing The Bigger Picture – Are You Paying Attention?

I recently had a couple of close friends tell me they didn’t get my blog, they felt it was dribble and wasn’t useful to business people. I was kind of taken by surprise, and yet I wasn’t all that shocked either, mostly because people don’t get me at the best of times. I even felt a little sad and I think I felt sorry for them. Once I picked myself up off the floor and got past the sting, they got me to thinking.

When I started blogging, I spent most of my time talking about nanotechnology, shortly there after I started thinking about the bigger picture of how technology is and will impact society 5, 10, 15, 30 years down the road. How will business look in the next 3 – 5 years, helping business and individuals to create ideas to adopt the future of business. Showing you some trends and the paradigm shift that is taking place, after all, the industrial age is dead right.

I tried to explain to my friends what my blog was about, and they said, “OK, fine but it doesn’t give me answers for today”.  I said, ” I’m not giving you answers, my goal and job is to make you think for yourself, to think of your own answers”. I merely want people to think for themselves, but it appears my friends want the answer handed to them on a silver platter. Which means, they are not paying attention to the bigger picture, they are only putting out fires rather than looking ahead. Is that you?

If you don’t pay attention to what’s coming, how and why are you in business? Every business is built on the very fact that there is and will be a future, if that’s true, why are you building a business? As I told my friends, my blog is trying to give you a glimpse of what’s to come, and hopefully, it helps get the creative juices flowing so you will be ready. If you are paying attention. If not, I see dead businesses.

There is much to be learned here on this blog, if you are paying attention. Are you starting to get my message yet?

I have to tell you, after a couple of hours sharing what it is my blog & I do, I wondered how difficult it was for you and others to understand what I’ve been sharing for the past number of years. I’m going to make it simple for you.

START PAYING ATTENTION TO THE BIGGER PICTURE!

Lift your head up and look down the road, start asking questions, start educating yourself because no one is going to do it for you. If I seem a little testy, it’s because I care, I want good things for you, but you have to play your role in this game called life & business.

If you were reading my blog and paying attention, you would know that there are another 3 billion people coming online in the next 2 -3 years, that 60% of all commerce will be done online, and that the industrial age is dead, no really it’s dead. You would also know, that there is an ROI in social media, that the world has gone crazy with being social and mobile, what does all this mean to you and your business? I have only mentioned a few things that should concern you, you should be worried about how this activity will impact your business, and for that matter your day-to-day life.

There, I feel better now. I hope you find at least one thing you can take away from this blog that helps, if not, ask me a question and lets talk about it. Afterall, I’m here to help, I want to help you figure out how to address the changes we are going through right now. It’s painful for some of you, it’s painful for me too.

Happy Blogging and pay attention to what’s going on around you, the world is watching, and the world needs you to be ready.

One Of The 1st Technological Revolutions In History

Much of what we know in Technology is sometimes shocking, and even down right revolutionary, but we have had many of these startling events long before you & I were born.

One of the greatest leaders in history is credited with introducing one of the very 1st technological revolutions of mankind, King David. He ruled over Judah c. 1010 – 1003 BC, and Israel from c.1003 – 970 BC, and was considered one of the worlds premier leaders in his day, and is still referred to as such today.

The real story is some 200 years before King David ruled over Judah & Israel, there was a tribe called the Hittites, and they knew how to combine minerals to make iron. They had more advanced knowledge and education, better weaponry, cooking utensils, and tools long before anyone else, they also won more battles because of it.

King David is credited with introducing the Iron Age, and iron today is used in much of the worlds most cherished structures. So all the technological change you and I have been experiencing, is not early advancements, but merely a maturing of technology over thousands of years. Technology has become exponential in it’s growth, you & I double our knowledge every year, but technology is not linear, it’s exponential, 2,4,8,16,32… and we can’t keep up.

In the next few years you will be able to buy a computer that computes faster than the human brain! This computing speed will birth products unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetime. Superior robotics will emerge and be much more life like because of it, a chance to actually have Artificial Intelligence will present itself. Virtual Reality will be so advanced we won’t be able to distinguish between real life & virtual life. we will spend more hours in virtual reality than we ever will on FaceBook or any other Social Network. Handheld devices will be so powerful, they will be able to do things we haven’t even thought of yet. There is so much to consider as we move forward in this century, technology is just one spoke in the wheel, we have bigger issues to face that technology may or may not be able to solve. Like the water shortage the world is starting to experience, I live in one of the rainiest places on this planet, and we have a shortage!

In 1998, Billy Graham shared at a TED Talk, that there are 3 things Technology has yet to solve.

The Big Three:

1.) Human evil

2.) Human Suffering

3. Death

The first one most likely will never be solved, it comes from you & I, we make bad decisions alot and we end up hurting mankind in the process. Human suffering is a puzzling one, there are 403 Billionaires in the USA alone, 40 of those billionaires have decided to give away 50% of their estates. If that’s true, why do we still have hunger? We live in the richest part of the world and yet we still have hunger, I hope someday we’ll right this injustice.

The third is Death, this has the potential to be solved by Technology, Nanotechnology to be more specific.

Nanobots will some day make it possible for you & I to live forever, and in perfect health, but that’s another blog post. I have written about it in my book The New Technology – The End of Mankind? You can download for FREE here on this blog.

Everything about our world is going through an upsetting industrial change, a paradigm shift, and it’s very real and very painful. Much of what we are experience in the business world, is not peace, harmony and quiet. These new social media environments disrupt closed systems, and most big business and corporations are fighting it tooth and nail. We are in a constant state of change and revolutionary thinking, but it scares wall street, because they can’t control a connected audience or consumer.

I also hope this post makes you appreciate the introduction to iron, more importantly, I hope your paying attention to what is really going on around you.

Social Networks Are The New Church Of The Future?

Since the birth of the Internet many have been trying to figure out just what it is, how big it is, I mean how big is it in terms of mankind. What is the role the Internet plays in terms of the world, maybe the universe as we know it. The question of what the Internet will look like in 50, 100 years from now looms large and is still is unanswered. The future is much easier to predict over the next 30- 50 years but 100 is a stretch, most likely we have no idea what technology will be like if we even get to live that long. With that in mind, what will Social Networks primary function be in the next 50 years?

Today we are producing content at a rapid pace, and using Social Networks to distribute it, hoping to get attention, and hoping to be recognized for providing good value. Most are trying figure out how to make a living here without the reputation of being unethical, wanting to be an honest business person and still generate income. In Social Networks it appears everyone is helping each other, building one another up, and encouraging each other to keep moving forward and to never give up. In some way these social networks behave like a church, maybe even better than, taking care of each other and speaking positive about all we come in contact with, as if we’ve known each other for years. It’s actually one of things I like about social network environments, it’s humane, it’s not about the system, it’s about people.

Almost everyone is willing to come and be together on Social Networks, see old friends, and meet new ones. It all sounds so wonderful doesn’t it? There is a dark side and we have yet to figure out what exactly it look likes and how to keep in check. I only mention it because we must keep our wits about us while chatting here faceless.

The church of the future will be more online than off, and many of the old guard will fight it, just like the music industry, they’ll fight back and try to keep control. In fact, today a new copyright law was introduced to prevent you, all of us from downloading music. I expect the copyright law will fail just as the previous document. Many question come when the idea of doing church online, sharing the gospel in a digital way. What about denomination, what happens to membership? The concept of broadcasting, streaming church services live online will become common place in the future even with the resistance of today.

The reality is, the church our Mother’s & Father’s attended, that model of church, is no longer working and a new model needs to be introduced. The new model means opening the doors up to the soon to be 5 Billion people that will take up residence here online. It won’t be enough to just stream services, but virtual churches will literally need to transform traditional church so it works online. Then the questions of, would people attend, would virtual churches survive financially? I belive they will, and they will most likely increase giving because they have opened the church doors and seeing that they to have become even more human.

Some say the Internet is evil, it’s the same statement as saying people with guns kill people, the truth is, guns kill people. The motive and heart of the people determine whether that happens or not, but that’s another story.

The Internet is changing our world(s), in such a way many are having a very difficult time trying to understand just what is happening and what it all means in the big picture. I can only say, this change is going to happen and we have to learn how to adopt. The details have yet to be worked out, but the picture is clear, the church will come here whether those today like it or not. The same applies to business owners resisting the reality that the Internet, that their business must be web-centric rather than not.

Will social networks be the new church, will they be accepted, or will they be viewed as outsiders as they are today? I like to think we are all people, we all have the same desires and frankly the same needs. If that is true, then social networks we know today will remain behaving the same way with very little change. That remains to be seen, but I can say without an hesitation, the church will be here doing the good work that they do, and I say AMEN!