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Monday, October 24, 2016


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"What fundamentally new, categorical technology shift has reached a mass market level since then?"

24/7 dopamine addiction. The level to which folk tune out the real astounds me. And neural pathways in our brains are being rewritten, partly because of the ease-of-use of Jobs' iPhone and the phones that followed it.

On a more positive note, new materials science and the application of I.T.-style management have made booster rockets cheaper and flights more frequent. I think the time of routine space flight by humans may actually occur in my lifetime, even if Musk's Mars mission seems as hazy as anything Philip Rosedale might dream up. Once Bezos or Musk get the reliability of their rockets to the level of, say, twice that of von Braun's Saturns, we'll see hundreds of thousands of homo sapiens go to the Moon and Mars and be addicted to their phones there.

Pussycat Catnap

Not so much that technology adoption has slowed, but that technology adaptation has normalized things.

Culture and human conduct are not changing to reflect the massive technology changes - all that fast. But rather the tech just gets normalized into existing cultural behavior.

- And yes the internet and social media are very LARGE counter points to that claim. But they are 2 things in what has been since they came out, a very large list of things...

And the ways we use them are pretty similar to the ways we used social things in the past.

We are 'tweaking' culture to minimize the impact of massive change, rather than going through a revolution every other week.

That I feel, is counter to what a lot of Cyberpunk fiction predicted would occur from these changes.

If I read Cyberpunk from say... the 1980s. It demonstrated a lot of tech that we more or less already have - and posited that as a result we would be societies in utter chaos with massive cultural shifts on a daily basis (Transhumanism predicted that, which was/is the post-Cyberpunk in the 90s).

Our environment and cities should have become unrecognizeable today from what they were in 1980.

The cities of 1980 ARE unrecognizeable from the cities of 1880, and actually more different from the cities of 1944 than they are from the cities of 2016.

- As the tech speeds up, the impact on our lives seems to have slowed down.

We've instead managed to figure out how to minimize its impact into small enough pieces that we can 'digest' while also managing to keep speeding up how fast and dramatic the tech itself changes...

- As a result it hits more shallowly...

The freeways coming in the 1950s changed so much. Rock and Roll changed culture so dramatically.

- These two changes were pretty minor technology changes, but they had very deep impacts on culture, landscape, demographics, etc.

VR, drones, email even - these are much bigger tech innovations. But they have had shallower impacts. Before they can hit deep enough, we jump off to the next thing.

Globalization has hit deeper than all of these - and its a 'change' that came slow, over decades. Itself driven by the freeways, aircraft, etc more than things like the internet (at most the internet is the 'switch' that turned on the ability of the other tech to cause this impact).

By constantly jumping to new tech, we actually manage to 'surf above the change' it should be having to ourselves.

Put another way for a silly analogy:

We used to get hit by one meteor and have a planet wide mass extinction.

Now we're flying the Millennium Falcon through an asteroid belt getting hit by thousands of them - but they're mostly bouncing off the shields... :)
- It LOOKS pretty dramatic, but not as much is actually happening to us.

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