As the chart shows, the McKinsey folks believe that the most economically significant technologies over the next decade-plus will be those already well underway in their development — the mobile Internet, largely in place in the adv
Indeed, maybe the single biggest takeaway from the study is this: The things that will have the greatest impact on the economy in the medium term aren’t the ones that seem to most excite the imagination and public interest. Instead, the potentially powerful innovations are mostly those that have been evolving for many years in new ways.
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The real economic benefits of innovation, at least over the near term, come not from the flashy, mind-blowing ideas, but from clever combinations of technologies that are just maturing with those that have been around for ages.
ROBERT STEELE: I agree with McKinsey on one of these — mobile — and disagree with everything else. And in the case of mobile, McKinsey clearly has not make the intellectual leap from mobile as a “receive” node to mobile as a “production” node, which is precisely the point of my proposal to Sir Richard Branson (Virgin Truth 2.6) and my related concept for saving Microsoft from itself (Big Picture). See also my newest graphic, Graphic: Ugly First Look at Hand-Held Device Value for Harvesting Monetizable Knowledge. For McKinsey to even include “Advanced oil and gas exploitation and recovery” is for me a clear reflection of their reliance on the hype meter rather than sound analysis. They completely ignore the central role of water desalination and purification that will, in combination with distributed renewable energy (not centralized!), and new forms of energy storage both big (underground) and small (disks), change everything. Instead of the sea rising, it will be converted into fresh water that will restore the deserts and forests. The rest of their list is pedestrian. While interesting, their thinking is devoid of the human factor and its potential, and totally lacking in any suggestion as to the true cost of these listed technologies — 3D printing of food, for example, could well be genetic modification and toxin production on steroids, wiping out communities that indulge. Perhaps most distressing, the McKinsey list is devoid of the moral factor and the moral implications of the Interent and the ease with which humanity will be able to do multinational information-sharing and sense-making….McKinsey has evidently not heard of the ten high-level threats to humanity (as identified by the High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change, reporting out in Decmeber 2004) and they do not evaluate technologies in relation to their relevance to the eradication of those threats, all enabled by secrecy (means), corruption (way), and impunity (end).
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