Humanity and technology continue to co-evolve at an ever increasing pace, leaving traditional institutions (and mindsets) calcified and out of date. A new paradigm is emerging, where everything is increasingly connected and the nature of collaboration, business and work are all being reshaped. In turn, our ideas about society, culture, geographic boundaries and governance are being forced to adapt to a new reality.
While some fear the loss of control associated with these shifts, others are exhilarated by the new forms of connectivity and commerce that they imply. Transactions and interactions are growing faster and more frictionless, giving birth to what I call a “superfluid” economy.
Business will not return to usual. So let’s discuss 4 key concepts to help us better understand the shifts that are underway:
1. Quantifying and mapping everything
2. Everyone has access to the internet
3. Self-organizing expands
4. Peer-to-peer exchange changes the future of money
I’m excited to be nearing the completion of my dissertation research. As regular iRevolution readers will know, the second part of my dissertation is a qualitative and comparative analysis of the use of the Ushahidi platform in both Egypt and the Sudan. As part of this research, I am carrying out some content analysis of the reports mapped on U-Shahid and the SudanVoteMonitor. The purpose of this blog post is to share my preliminary analysis of the 2,700 election monitoring reports published on U-Shahid during Egypt’s Parliamentary Elections in November & December 2010.
Uber is a cool new car service that Jenna Wortham recently wrote about in this article for The New York Times. Intersect is an equivalently cool new site that for all practical purposes is the opposite of Twitter that is all based on location and what is happening in a specific location at a particular time so it becomes a chronology of everything that happens at that location. Their web site does a better job of describing it than I do.
So what? And what do these two totally different companies have in common?
I’ll get there, but it reminds me of something my friend Tom, who is an executive at Microsoft, was telling me a couple of years ago about modern phone technology (in this case the design of Windows Phone 7). He pointed out something pretty obvious, but at the same time prettty incredible. Historically with computer technology the size of the screen of the device software was written for was known and fixed. Also, things like “up” and “down” were fixed. Now with mobile devices like phones and tablets, we expect to turn the device upside down and have it turn the screen around for us, and if we want to change the amount of information in the screen, we are now able to pinch in and pinch out and slide – and we expect that. That has been trasformational for mobile devices.
Just how important is location-based data to Google? Just how important is it for the sun to rise each morning? Same deal.
This question comes in the wake of eyes turning toward mobile handsets—specifically, Apple’s iPhone and smartphones based on Google’s Android OS—for the information they collect about the various wireless access points and cell phone towers the devices connect to (or notice) throughout the course of a given day.
Phi Beta Iota: The current approaches to “identity” are vestiges of the industrial-era commoditization of humans and the fragmentation of the commons. In the 1990’s the Hackers Conference (Silicon Valley) discussed trust and identity authentication in combination with anonymnity (or better, invisibility).
SAN FRANCISCO — Inside a darkened theater a viewer floats in a redwood forest displayed with Imax-like clarity on a cavernous overhead screen.
The hovering sensation gives way to vertigo as the camera dives deeper into the forest, approaches a branch of a giant redwood tree, and then plunges first into a single leaf and then into an individual cell. Inside the cell the scene is evocative of the 1966 science fiction movie “Fantastic Voyage,” in which Lilliputian humans in a minuscule capsule take a medical journey through a human body.
There is an important difference — “Life: A Cosmic Journey,” a multimedia presentation now showing at the new Morrison Planetarium here at the California Academy of Sciences, relies not just on computer animation techniques, but on a wealth of digitized scientific data as well.
Futurescaper is an online tool for making sense of the drivers, trends and forces that will shape the future. As a user interface system, it is horrible. As a tool for analyzing and understanding complex systems, it works pretty well. Several people asked me about this after my last post, so here is some more detail.
Following the logic of collective intelligence (as part of my my PhD), I broke up the the scenario thinking process into discrete chunks, came up with a system for analyzing and relating them together, and then distilled them into key outputs for helping the scenario development process: 1) Emergent Thematic Maps 2) Revealing Hidden Connections 3) Drilling Down