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Industry Insight

BoSacks Speak Out: technologic and social revolution

Let me ask you a question.

By Bob Sacks
Published: February 2, 2011

Let me ask you a question. Do you actually think that humans have the intellectual prowess to grasp the full effect of the current technologic and social revolution, while we are still traveling through it? Do you really think with changes happening in computer clocked light-speed that our brains are ready to understand the long-term global and social changes before us?

If we are now in agreement that our brains aren't ready, how possibly can our businesses be ready? How can we adapt to a new technology that changes every day and has no intention of standing still, not for a micro-second?

As a student of history I can tell you that technology has never really stood still, but at least it used to give a few moments to catch our breath and give that day's entrepreneurs the time to think, adapt and maybe prosper.

In the next few years there is going to be more new technology and more new innovation than we have yet faced. The pace of change has accelerated beyond most business plans' ability to understand, much less change and adapt to.

But I have hope for us all. I truly believe that at the end of this particular technologic cycle of dramatic change, there will be super opportunities and an era of great publishing expansion. That would be the expansion of the written word, delivered in multiple methods, to various devices, only one of which is paper. I hope you find that a comforting thought.

 

Discussion

By Gordon Pritchard on Feb 02, 2011

I disagree with your conclusion that "our brains aren’t ready, how possibly can our businesses be ready?"
The technology - from smoke signals to beating drums to the internet - may change, but the fundamental principles of human social intercourse remain the same.
Technology is like a lever, it simply magnifies the capability of the person who has access to it.

 

By BoSacks on Feb 02, 2011

Gorden:

You are a better man than I.

I asked the question if we have the intellectual prowess to grasp the full effect of the current technologic and social revolution that is upon us. You seem to feel that you grasp the full implications of what we are currently living through. Bravo. Let’s have coffee sometime and you can explain it to me.

I am, among many other things, a self-appointed futurist for our industry. I reputedly have a semi-decent grasp of what is happening to us and where we are going. The full implications... no, I do not make that claim.

And to your point about the current technologies, they are decidedly NOT like a lever. Both the process and the technique of the lever is simple to understand – from caveman to astrophysicist. The lever has not changed in the 35,000 years since its invention. The Internet and the new methods of communication change daily. We can work the system, use the system, even make money on the system, but I don’t think we fully understand what we have accomplished to date, much less where it is all heading. No, I say again, I do not understand the FULL effect of the current technologic and social revolution.

BoSacks
-30-

 

By Juan Pablo Kutianski on Feb 03, 2011

Gordon:
The technology is just a proposition, or a compromise solution, to a problem. Isn't needed to magnify anything. The problem is the word "technology" has more than one sense, and some of these, comes from the simplification of the use of "applied technology".
But I think I agree with you on the idea about the relation of technology and society.

 

By Gordon Pritchard on Feb 04, 2011

@ BoSacks, the spelling of my name is "Gordon" not "Gorden".
Also, ridiculing me does not advance your argument, nor does rewriting what I wrote - as I did not write that I felt that I grasp the full implications of what we are currently living through.

What I wrote was that I disagree with your conclusion that “our brains aren’t ready, how possibly can our businesses be ready?”

Your choice of the word "full" is so all encompassing as to be meaningless in this context.

I think you give technology too much importance. As Marshall McLuhan once wrote: "A typewriter is a means of transcribing thought, not expressing it."

What I meant by my analogy of the lever is that the consequences of any new methods of communication, such as the Internet, that are extensions of ourselves, result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology. So, businesses do not have to understand the "full" implications of new technologies in order to be ready.

 

By Kyle Hill on Feb 07, 2011

I believe technology is moving a such a speed, qualifications and experience are taking a back seat. As a web marketer/entrepreneur, even in the last 2 years things have changed dramatically. I even wonder how traditional businesses are still even businesses!

Great article though.

 

By Michael Jahn on Feb 10, 2011

@ Bo,

I guess all I might suggest to you is to read Schopenhauer. He was bron around the time you and I were (not sure how old Gordon is)

"Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal."
— Arthur Schopenhauer

"All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; Second, it is violently opposed; Third, it is accepted as self-evident."
— Arthur Schopenhauer

Change is my 'truth'. I embrace it.

Gordon and I live in a world where we sit down to a big bowl of change for breakfast that we enjoy. There is no need to grasp the full implications of new technologies. Adjust Adapt Overcome! Words to live by. Yesterdays Scitex CT/LW files were exchanged on 9 track reel tapes in a FedEx box. Today, we submit PDF/X files using APIs with Web Services running SOAP and REST. We have spectrophotometers on presses. It is all about efficiency and immediacy.

 

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