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Let yourself be overwhelmed!

The Dancy Opus 2012

Believing deeply, as I do, that many humans have left reality for a place called social media, devices and entertainment, I want to take a moment to, suggest that the future took place yesterday.

Yup, yesterday at 3pm, the future came and went.  You probably didn't notice this, it was not scheduled and many people were tied up planning today and working on tomorrow.

Our subconscious mind is what allows us to go through most of the day.  It is the part of the brain that automates, consolidates and orchestrates much of what we "THINK" we are doing.

Our subconscious gives us the bandwidth to act with our actual "consciousness".

The sickening irony of this whole mess, is we take what we "think" is free will and consciousness and spend 95% of it focusing on time travel.

Yes, most of the time that you think you are working, talking or shopping, that's not you, that's your subconscious on auto-pilot.

During that time, YOU are actually planning or ruminating.

This has become especially difficult for most humans who work with knowledge.

Knowledge workers, White Collar Employees, Tech Professionals, Executives have spent the last 20 years living in a future that came and went.

Natural selection is pushing the social media movement.  Yup, professionals who can naturally "narrate" their work, or "Work out loud" have a strategic advantage over those who do not.

Below, I present you with three views of the "Future".

I paid to have the first two videos transcribed, because some of you will NOT take the time to watch them.

This blog is my gentle request that you folks need to wake up.  Seriously, WAKE UP. I have been rocking the boat for close to four years.  Some folks have taken the opportunity to learn a new skill set, watch how they behave online , think about how collaboration changes IT work and even consider what it really means to use a tool to amplify their humanity.

The rest of the folks out there are sleeping, deeply in automated routines while the world is ferociously passing them by.

Multiple generations of knowledge workers are close to extinction because they have relied on "management" and "leadership" to keep them current with skills and knowledge.

No one is manageing you, no one cares about you and no one is going to help you.

So set a side 10 minutes and watch these three videos in order, actually invite a friend and then take a few minutes to talk about what you saw.

For those of you who suggest that I have an agenda, let me make this perfectly clear, I do.  My agenda is you.  I'm not pro-business, pro-industry, pro-customer, pro-technology, I am pro-human. 

VIDEO 1:  The Future From 1985

The world in 1985 looked forward at the coming future and how it would change everything about humanity.  This video is essential in understand the foundation of where you are today.

Without the look from the past to the future you are living in, RIGHT NOW, you can't start to understand the next two videos.

What is happening now is a more fundamental, profound change than mankind has ever experienced. Today looks nothing like our yesterday. We open our eyes in the 1980s, and we see a world that is totally new. The most common everyday things in our lives are changing at an incredibly rapid pace. Watches aren't just watches the calendars, clocks, our radios.

Music is video. Television's aren't just for entertainment, they're for banking or getting a degree. Telephones aren't just for calling home anymore, they're for accessing data banks, containing every conceivable kind of information, presenting copies of letters and drawings across the globe in seconds. 

Telephones are in our cars as well as our homes and offices. Our homes and offices are coming together more and more with computers. People are able to work at home or telecommute. Light still wakes us in the morning as it always has. But now laser light performs surgery without a scalpel, treats cancerous cell predicts earthquakes or shoots underground through hair thin fibers of glass carrying thousands of messages at lightning speed.

Welcome to the information age. I'm Robert Trumbell and I'm here to take you on a journey through mankind's history. Through the threshold of a world of new opportunities, a world of wonders matched only by our dreams. In the agricultural age, life was based on the lessons man learned from his past.

When to plant. When to harvest. And man created tools, the wheel, the plow, to aid in his survival. In the industrial age, man labored in factories. Life was based on the present. Produce the goods, ship them out. And man created new tools, machines, assembly lines. The industrial age peaked several decades ago with most of the American workforce employed in manufacturing and heavy industry.

Then, things began to change. People moved into jobs as office workers librarians, managers. By 1956 over one half of the workforce was involved in the creating, processing and distributing of information. In 1957 the Russians launched Sputnik, and a new era began. Suddenly, a much smaller world could communicate by satellite.

In the information age, our new tools, computers and communication technologies have extended both our physical and our intellectual capabilities. As we begin to think, create, and communicate globally, our game shifts to the future. With the tools of the information age, we look forward to a richer, longer, more interesting life scientists believe that the technologies of this new age may even allow us to extend ourselves perceptually, to move through seas and even manipulate parts of the environment at long distance.

And what I see as the ultimate result of fiber optics, lasers and the new developments in holography just very rudimentary, just far beyond fiber optics but coming along is a time when you can do just what those fellows do in Star Trek. You can beam up and down. You can create yourself electronically somewhere else, or deal with some electronically here by holography, three-dimensional living, moving television, and you may say that's a pie in the sky, but if you look at the trends as something that will become a reality if not at the end of this century, certainly some time in the next century. 

The tools of the information age, computers and communications were separate technologies for years. Today they are rapidly coming together to create systems that will offer the capabilities and economies of the future. The first large scale computer, ENIAC, was produced by Sperry Rand in 1946. It was the size of a room, and had 18 thousand vacuum tubes, and one of them blew every six minutes 

The changes that occurred after the development of the with its vacuum tubes involved the use of the transistor, which was invented shortly thereafter. The transistor transistor is different from the vacuum tube in many ways, it is more reliable, it does not break as easily, it uses far less power its lifetime is enormous compared to that of the vacuum tube.

It's the development of the transistor and its successors, the integrated circuits which have reduced the size of a computer from that of a room to do something the size of a fingernail.

Today, this tiny reliable microcomputer performs thousands of times more tasks than any for a fraction of the cost. If automobiles had advanced in the same ways as computers, the car today would cost $2.50, would get 1.5 million miles per gallon and would weigh about half a pound. Communications, the other technological tool of the information age, had slower beginnings than computers. 

Delivery of messages took days, weeks, sometimes even years. Then messages were sent by mail, telegram, telephone, undersea cables and satellite technology made it possible for nations to communicate in a matter of seconds. Now the science of light communications has turned the highways of yesterday into the super highways of the information age, where our ideas travel on lightbeam paths.

A tiny laser, the size of a pinhead sends an intense beam of light with a fiber glass for optical fiber. The lightbeam pulses at an amazing 90 million times per second it would take yesterday's conference telephone lines 21 hours to transmit the same amount of information that an optical fiber sends in one second, already hundreds of thousands of miles of fiber optics networks crisscross the country and the world.

The 1984 summer Olympic games where telecast via a digital television lightweight system linking 23 olympic event signs. Each time the laser switches off and on in a fiber optics network, a bit of information moves through the glass thread. The lightbeam is talking digital, the language of computers.

Computers are learning another language - ours

We'll be very smart.

With all the developments that are going on we hope that in the not too far distant future, it will be possible to carry out this conversion from the spoken word to the computer and be able to tell the computer directly by mouth what it is you want it to do. This will save an enormous amount of bother and effort converting your ideas to a written form, typing them and sending them out, and that way this will make the computer more friendly and a much more usable device.

Computers and communication, merging, to form the systems of the information age. In the past, manufacturers provided just one part of the information business, computers, or communications equipment. Customers are now looking to buy systems from one source, so companies worldwide are broadening their products and services by investing or merging.

This integration of technology will link many of the operations of a factory of business into a single centralized system, with global access to information. So sometime, perhaps in the not too distant future, the following scenario could take place. A scientist in Italy makes a major discovery. He enters it into a world databank.

A researcher at a US company sees the data, and calls the engineering department. The engineer designs the product and sends the plans to the foreman who programs the plans into his computer, which automatically regears the assembling line and orders the parts from inventory. The advertisement department develops the new product introduction and the sales team is trained via teleconferencing.

All of these functions are performed and coordinated by one system. With the integration of technologies, we'll be able to pool the expertise of great minds worldwide. We'll have instantaneous access to information that will solve problems, prevent crimes, save lives. Imagine, a child's life is saved because the knowledge of doctors nationwide is pooled and immediately to a small town physician, who is quickly able to diagnose and treat the problem.

An elusive mineral vital to economy of a region is located hundreds of times more quickly at a fraction of the cost, because the expertise of nation wide geologists is pooled and focused on the search. Do these sound like scenarios of the distant future? They're not. These are technological applications that have already been implemented, and the technologies are almost in place to turn these and many other information benefits into affordable, widely available realities.

Almost. We need to go a step further. The United States must develop an information infrastructure, the final stage in the merging of communications and computer technologies. In the industrial age, a region's economic growth and vitality depended on the efficient planning of transportation, water, sewer, and electrical systems.

In the information age, the growth industries will be attracted to the regions that developed strong information infrastructures. An information infrastructure is a grid of fiber optic cable, microwave towers, and satellites connecting telephones to computers, to buildings, to cities, to nations. Those towns, cities, states and countries that develop the strongest infrastructures will get the largest share of a global communications market that will be worth over one trillion dollars by 1990.

How can we be sure that the United States will have strong share of that money. We have foreign competitors who are ready and able to penetrate our markets here in the USA. Japan's goal, for example, is to gain a 30% share of the world computer market and an 18% share of the American market by 1990. 

Japan has announced that they are going to build a fifth generation computer, which is really a computer that goes beyond what anything we have today. It deals with building what is now called artificial intelligence or expert systems, they are inference engines, where they learn from themselves, and they provide knowledge to you and deal with them just by processing transactions.

You give it data and it gives you back information. You give it more information innovation and it learns from itself, and it continues to build its knowledge. And this fifth-generation computer is going to, if it's successful, could put miles ahead of the rest of the world.

Other countries are also advancing rapidly in information age technologies. The French postal and communication plans to equip each of its 30 million telephone subscribers with a video data terminal by 1992. The same systems are operational in the United Kingdom, Canada, West Germany, and Japan. The United States is making similar advances in information age technologies and infrastructures but our lead is slim and getting slimmer.

The communications equipment business is a good example. It's a $40 billion market expected to grow to $90 billion in the next 5 years. But for the first time, in 1983 the United States imported more communications equipment than it exported. Our world market gears and switching equipment. Fiber optics manufacturing and microprocessing are being challenged.

We've seen our major industries lose world market positions in the past. Between1959 and 1979, many of our leading companies in the chemical electronic appliance, automotive, and manufacturing industries lost positions as world market leaders. With information technology approaching a one trillion dollar market.

And with high-tech industries creating jobs 30% faster than any other industry, there is too much at stake to let the same thing happen to our information age industries.

Because after all we are in a competitive enviroment and the one who can produce the lowest cost quality service is going to win the business. And I think the people who do the best job of producing technology-driven products that are quality, low-cost products are gonna be the winners.

American minds have brought the greatest technologies of all time to the world, because if there is one thing Americans have always valued, its a good idea, but if the United States is to remain the leader in the information age. Good ideas will have to come at a faster pace than ever before. Businesses and government policy makers will need have a far-sighted, unified vision of the future.

And plans that allow for the development of a strong, nationwide infrastructural as critical to economic development in the information age as good highways were to economic development in the industrial age. Plans that free American information-age companies to use their resources to introduce the technologies of the future as economically as possible and with widespread availability to the public.

Because the public has the right to the best performance the most advanced technologies can offer now, not later. We open our eyes in the 1980s and we see a world that requires a greater, more far-seeing vision than ever before. Some people say that the United States has lost the ability to have a greater vision of the future, that business people and policy makers are only concerned with short-term, catch as catch can problem solving. 

I disagree. We're world leaders because our vision has always encompassed the past, present and future. Some people say the entrepreneurs and dreamers are no longer with us just when we need them the most. But since information and the good ideas that follow are our most precious commodities in this new age, we're way ahead. 

Ever since there was an America, we have value of the ingenuity of the human mind. Our greatest minds in business, politics, and technology will continue continue to work together to anticipate and meet the challenges of our tomorrow. 

VIDEO 2: The Law of Accelerating Returns

Many call Ray Kurzweil's thoughts on the singularity, "Rapture for Nerds".  Hopefully with an open mind, the thoughts of the future from 1985 above, you are now ready to understand what the next 50 years is going to look like.

People routinely underestimate what's achievable in long periods of time like one decade or two decades because they leave out the radical implications of exponential growth. We can already sense how much more change occurs in a year than in the years before that, just speak to young people, teenagers.

And even in their lifetime they can see how much more quickly technology moves today than it did five years ago. Acceleration of technology is the implication of what I call the law of accelerating returns. The nature of technological progress is exponential. If I count linearly thirty steps, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, I get to thirty.

If I count exponentially, 2, 4, 8, 16, thirty steps later, I'm at a billion. It makes a dramatic difference. But 40 years ago Gordon Moore saw that there was exponential growth in the power of semiconductors, of chips. Basically every two years we can put twice as many components on a chip. And because they're closer together, they run faster, and so computers get twice as capable overall for the same price every year.

We'll make another billion fold increase in price-performance in the next 25 years, and again shrink the size of these technologies a hundred-thousand fold. So, we went from a building to something that fits in your pocket in 40 years, and the next 25 years we'll go from something that fits in your pocket to something that's the size of a blood cell.

The reason that information technology grows exponentially is that we use the latest technology to create the next. So each new generation of technology grows exponentially in capability and the speed of that process accelerates over time. This is true in general of evolutionary process. In fact, even biological evolution long before even humans evolved shows the same phenomenon.

the very first paradigm of biological evolution was the evolution of DNA. That took a billion years, but then evolution adopted it. It's used it ever since. so the next stage, the Cambrian explosion, when all the body plans of the animals evolved, went 100 times faster. It only took 10 million years.

after a few more steps, homo sapiens, the first technology creating species evolved, and that only took a few hundred thousand years. Evolution and then shifted from biological evolution to technological evolution, tens of thousands of years to evolve stone tools, fire, the wheel Then we always use the latest technology to paint the next technology, so the whole pace of technology has accelerated.

Major paradigm shifts, like search engines involved in just 5 or 6 years. The reason we get to a singularity, a point of astonishingly quick change, is because it's going to go into very fast here over the next several decades. for me raised projections are obvious. We are a young star and a young planet and a very young species in this 50 billion year old galaxy.

People think of the human race as being this technologically advanced species. I'd say we've been technologically advanced for a whole 100 years. We've been the human race for 100,000 years. We are just at the very beginning. We have so much to go. We have so much to learn. We know nothing. 

VIDEO 3: The Future is Ours

I wanted to end with this video because it is critical that you approach every single problem you have with hope.  You need to embrace feeling overwhelmed, just as you safely raise your hands in the air during a roller coaster, safe in knowing you are not going to fly off the edge.

An attitude that is fully conscious of where you are and with all automated subconscious systems suspended.  Bridge mindfulness and technology and allow yourself to be overwhelmed.


I have made a living working in ITSM, helping people support people on a service desk / help desk.  Tomorrow I want to make a living helping people wake up.  The ambien has run out folks. 







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Reader Comments (3)

Let's go!

July 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNeil Harrington

Sounds good, lets get ready for this....

Chris, you whacked my comment on Linkedin! I was trying to find a link to this weblog / video.

July 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGregory Tucker

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by Chris Dancy