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Are you scared or excited? (Part 1)

/ 05:20 AM January 17, 2019

After my two columns on what the future would look like, a good friend, David de Padua, sent me an article with some very interesting insights into the world we’re entering. The article is widely circulated across social media sites. While the piece is unbylined, I’d like to share parts of it here because it reinforces one of the most important points I want to keep hammering through — that human beings were acclimated to the dull consistency of life for 200,000 years, before that changed to slow, adaptable changes in the past 300 years and now to rapid changes in the past 70 years.

With the simple addition of the tiny transistor (invented by William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain) and the introduction of digital communication, the world has been thrust over the cliff into humankind’s fourth revolution: information technology (IT). This one does not change within a millennium or over decades, it changes in months. Every month, some breakthrough occurs that transforms society.

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People aren’t ready for it; our brains aren’t wired to change on a continuing basis, so we lag in acceptance. This is especially worrying when it comes to those who will decide our societal lives for us. Laws must be passed that will guide us in this future world. Bureaucracy must set rules that modernity demands.

That is why I go on forever about the supreme importance of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). It’s either going to lead us into that future or leave us trailing behind. The burden on a DICT secretary will be enormous. He must be a visionary of extraordinary capability, surrounded by whiz kids who live their lives in the IT world.

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So here are some other changes the online article mentions that we can expect (to these must be added those we don’t know yet, and they will come, too):

“A gasoline engine has 20,000 individual parts. An electrical motor has 20. Electric cars are sold with lifetime guarantees and are only repaired by dealers. It takes only 10 minutes to remove and replace an electric motor. Faulty electric motors are not repaired in the dealership but are sent to a regional repair shop that repairs them with robots. Your electric motor malfunction light goes on, so you drive up to what looks like a Jiffy auto wash, and your car is towed through while you have a cup of coffee and out comes your car with a new electric motor!

“Gas stations will go away. Parking meters will be replaced by meters that dispense electricity. Companies will install electrical recharging stations; in fact, they’ve already started. You can find them at select Dunkin’ Donuts locations.

“Most (the smart) major auto manufacturers have already designated money to start building new plants that only build electric cars. [You can’t register an electric car in the Philippines, the law has no category!]

“Coal industries will go away. Gasoline/oil companies will go away. Drilling for oil will stop. So say goodbye to Opec (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries)!

“Homes will produce and store more electrical energy during the day than they use, and will sell it back to the grid. The grid stores it and dispenses it to industries that are high-electricity users. Has anybody seen the Tesla roof? A baby of today will only see personal cars in museums.

“In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85 percent of all photo paper worldwide. Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt. Who would have thought of that ever happening? What happened to Kodak will happen in a lot of industries in the next five to 10 years, and most people don’t see it coming.

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“Did you think in 1998 that three  years later, you would never take pictures on film again? With today’s smartphones, who even has a camera these days? Yet digital cameras were invented in 1975. The first ones only had 10,000 pixels, but followed Moore’s law. So, as with all exponential technologies, it was a disappointment for a time before it became way superior and became mainstream in only a few short years. It will now happen again (but much faster) with artificial intelligence, health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture and jobs.”

(To be continued)

E-mail: wallace_likeitis@wbf.ph

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TAGS: information technology, Like It Is, Peter Wallace
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