Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Top 20 (Plus 5) Technologies for the World Ahead

For those of you following my writing you know that I am very interested in complexity. It was nice to see in this article, published in The Futurist,May - June 2011 written by James Irvin and Sandra Schwarzback, highlighting complexity as a technology and listing it as number 19:

"19 Chaos Theories and Complexity Models

Our world is much more complex, interconnected, and dynamic than we once thought. New mathematical concepts are challenging the rationalized, deterministic, scientific models of the Industrial Age. The Industrial Age paradigm held that there is one best way to organize a given thing and that in all cases, a given “rational” outcome is predetermined by nature. The new scientific paradigm will ultimately replace this older mentality. The new Information Age is being driven by applied technology and by two major advances in theoretical science that are altering our view of how the world works: an ecological/ ecosystem model, which supports ecological and environmental diversity, and modern chaos and complexity theories, which emphasize unpredictability, self-organizing systems, and the coexistence of the linear and the random. In the near term, this paradigm shift will significantly change people's views of society, of themselves in relation to society, and of how the world and the greater universe work."

This is a pretty good summary of the importance of the subject (although they get the terminology twisted up).

There were two other things in this article that caught my attention. The first is the way that they describe graphically paradigm revolution as shown below:

I've been drawing this s-curve type of progress this was since the early 1990s and I haven't seen it shown this way at all. I'm speaking about the step down from an old to a new paradigm.

I'm not at all sure about their description of the future as the Robotic - Biotech Age. I would look for a name closer to the technology of the means production that is coming and I think that that has to be nano technology. My second choice would be something in the energy field, but I don't see any thing right now that would revolutionize energy.

Their chart is interesting never-the-less:

1 comment:

  1. i'm glad i've come across your site paul, gonna take me awhile to get a good view of all you have going here, but looks like it'll be worthwhile ;-)


    ps - not sure the artists shoulda disappeared in the industrial or robotic age columns, at least based on retail sales of singers and such, but interesting ;-)