Changes to the Earth that used to take 10,000 years now take three years. This has led to a very strong interest in “real-time science.” At the same time, as the information society matures, we are seeing demands for government information (paid for by the taxpayer) to be made available in real-time. Census results that used to take ten years to process now take two years, and that is major progress. It is also 20 years behind the art of the possible and some would say, the art of the necessary. With Rapid SMS where it is today in Africa, there is no reason why census data–and all other forms of data funded by the taxpayer–cannot be made available as collected, as processed, as analyzed–three different levels of value, none now constrained by time and materials, only by old mind-sets unfamiliar with the state of best practices outside the wire.
Similarly, real-time marketing and real-time needs definition and satisfaction are emergent.
Stephen E. Arnold, for over a decade the “virtual CTO” to the multinational multifunctional information-sharing and sense-making community that gathered annually from 1992 to 2006, is at the forefront of this specific emerging convergence of human needs and information communication technologies (ICT). Below are snippets from three of his recent pieces, and contact information.