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Losing our brains with disruptive technologies (XI): The Internet age

Kid learning aquarelle
“A baby sleeping”. An aquarelle practice by Eleonora Escalante. Size: 9 inch x 12 inch. Watercolor paper Canson XL 300 GSM. This painting is not for sale.

Have a beautiful week. Living in a developing country when trying to race in the international leagues is a challenging hurdle itself. Everything we do, makes us look like the tiny David of the Bible trying to win to the huge Goliat.

Developed countries have forgotten that the work made in undeveloped nations is simply a godsend miracle. Without resources. without research and development budgets at universities, and without the local ecosystem support, it is 100 times more challenging and arduous for us to excel. And this happens in every single industry. Even in the cinema industry, South Corea´s film “Parasite” recognition at the OSCAR´s gala night looks still like a miracle. For instance, South Corea is not an under-developed nation like El Salvador, even though the gap between the rich and the poor is well represented in the movie “Parasite”. Well deserved congratulations to Bong Joon-ho and his team for his creative production, and for opening the door to more success stories for the cinema industry and its future emerging talent in Asia.

Parasite Bong Winner 2020
Bong, the South Korean film “Parasite” director, produced a historic miracle in the cinema industry this year. Photo Source: The DePaulia

When preparing myself to compose about how the think-work-invest-produce activities are affected by disrupting technologies; I decided to do an exercise. I got informed and visited TIME Magazine’s best inventions list from the year 2000 to the year 2019. I excavated deep into understanding the TIME editors’ “popular mindset” criteria to search, organize and show the best inventions of each year: Those that emerged as a concept idea, those ones which appeared as a probed business, and those who were so innovative that changed our history. I took the time to examine each of these technologies (which means that I had to read around 1,000 TIME web sections to learn about them). Why did I use the TIME magazine list? Simple, I wanted you to know that magazines are important for us to keep and read. I could have used another cutting-edge source as an MIT Technology review too. But as ordinary consumers, we can grasp much stuff by reading available and affordable magazines. Do not let the magazines and journals die. (I am not being sponsored by TIME either).

Based on my “popular” knowledge from TIME magazine,  today I will expose the strategic reflection first. Furthermore, in my next post, I will provide the slides with the list of technologies summary. I am preparing a set of slides that I will share in my next post. Wait for them. Please.

The Internet age.

  1. Each and all of the technologies I was capable to read has been invented by scientists or entrepreneurs. Each industry or work sector has been at least altered by them to a certain degree, less or more. Meanwhile, three of them have definitely impacted us dramatically.
  2. The majority of the technologies I read are usually related to gadgets or simple devices. Before the Internet of Things (2008), these technologies were not interacting with the Smart-phones, but during the last 12 years, the concept of disruption is totally tied to the Internet. This means that without it, these technologies wouldn´t make its appearance in the invention map. The best inventions of the 2019 list (Time Magazine) are technologies reaped on the internet.
  3. Many of these technologies are not disruptive. They simply have appeared to solve a human issue, or to facilitate us to improve our already easy life. For example Alexa, or google glass, or VR headsets, or the Apple Watch, or drones or solar roofs or supersonic hair dryers. These tech devices have not broken our think-work-style society rules in comparison to the Internet for instance.
  4. The main tech invention categories are usually segmented under the following groups: Health, Transportation and Transit, Household, Safety, Arts, Entertaining and Fashion, Toys, Energy and Space.
  5. Nevertheless, the most important of the inventions I registered, is not even the smartphone, or social media (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter). What has changed our think-work-invest-produce cycle are three basic technologies (in order of impact): (1) the internet, (2) the nanotechnology progression and (3) artificial intelligence. The internet technologies and its improvement to deliver high-speed information at the palm of your hands have disrupted our brains forever. The reduction of the size of sensors, transistors, screens, circuits, wires, chips, and whatever electronic component you can imagine into nano sizes have created a disruption in our life forever. And finally, the artificial intelligence technologies (machine learning, robots, and the rest named at Gartner hypercycle crusades) which will affect our brains and society, more and more in the future.

The rest of the technologies that I read at the TIME inventions reports are simply gadgets or objects which are using the latter three to promote businesses or to explore the space. But without the internet, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence (with robots included), we wouldn´t be here opening a new economic era and at the same time, beginning our most fearful brain disasters.

Even though the core internet basic technology is not new – it was used since the 60s by the US Army-; its spread rolling-out during the last 20 years has affected our thinking frameworks, and in consequence, our way to work, invest, and produce. During the last 20 years, there has been a societal change in our habits and consumption practices; not just because we can do transactions using our mobile gadgets, but because our thinking frameworks have triggered the Industrial Revolution 4.0. China is the purest example of the production and usage of these three technologies. More than 80% of manual jobs will disappear in factories, at a quick rhythm than the education plans to upgrade the workforce to substitute its current job positions. There is a mismatch you see. The top market value capitalization companies in society are another vivid illustration of how the internet, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence have changed the priorities in the investing judgment. Last month, Alphabet joined the trillion market valuation club. The Big Tech – the five stock group comprised of Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft – all together sum up to pass a $5 trillion market valuation for the first time. This is a sign that tech-heavy companies are highest valued by investors, and all of us are tech-affected.

A world without the internet? Just think for a minute: What would happen if the internet is shut off for some hours all over the world? I believe the stratospheric damage to the world economy is worse than the currently expected Coronavirus casualties to the global economy.  According to Statista, almost 4.54 billion people were active internet users as of January 2020, encompassing 59 percent of the global population. Northern European countries,  UAE, South Corea, China, India, and the United States rank ahead of all other countries in terms of internet users and internet penetration rates.

Global Digital Population as of January 2020
Global Digital Population as of January 2020. Source: Statista.

I will stop here. In my next publication, we will explore why we as individuals must be cautious and keep a balance towards the internet. For the sake of our brains. Our beautiful brains need to be aware of how do we need to be polished with and without the internet, particularly when it comes to think, work, produce, invest. Parents can´t continue hurting their kids’ brains with technology gadgets which will damage their capacity for problem solving and analysis. As a corporate strategist, I am trying to figure out a middle point of convivence with the Internet, Nanotechnology, and Artificial Intelligence. For the sake of our sanity.

Losing our Brains with Disruptive Tech outline 3feb2020

Tonnes of blessings for you that always come back to this blog for more. Thank you.

brain bearfoot graphics

Sources of reference utilized to write this article:

Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY.  Nevertheless, the majority of the pictures, images or videos shown on this blog are not mine.  I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.

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