01-Becoming (1:15) (116 views)
“De grootste producten van de komende 20 jaar zijn nog niet uitgevonden”
Technological life in the future will be a series of endless upgrades. And the rate is accelerating. Features shift, defaults disappear, menus morph. (p. 10)
Beginnelingen zullen we zijn
No matter how long you have been using a tool, endless upgrades make you into a newbie – the new user often seen as clueless. In this era of “becoming”, everyone becomes a newbie. Worse, we will be newbies forever, that should keep us humble (nederig). (p. 10-11)
All of us – every one of us – will be endless newbies in the future simply trying to keep up. Here’s why: First, most of the important technologies that will dominate life 30 years from now have not yet been invented, so naturally you’ll be a newbie to them. Second, because the new technology requires endless upgrades, you will remain in the newbie state. Third, because the cycle of obsolescence (veroudering) is accelerating (the average lifespan of a phone app is a mere 30 days!), you won’t have time to master anything before it is displaced, so you will remain in the newbie form forever. Newbie is the new default for everyone, no matter your age or experience. (p. 11)
Utopia is verre van een Utopia
A world without discomfort (ongemak) is utopia. But it is also stagnant (stilstaand). A world perfectly fair in some dimensions would be horribly unfair in others. A utopia has no problems to solve, but therefore no opportunities either.
None of us have to worry about these utopia paradoxes, because utopias never work, Every utopian scenario contains self-corrupting flaws (fouten). My aversion to utopias goes even deeper. I have not met a speculative utopia I would want to live in. I’d be bored in utopia. (p. 12)
Dystopias zijn veel ‘leuker’
Dystopias, their dark opposites, are a lot more entertaining. They are also much easier to envision (voor te stellen). Who can’t imagine an apocalypic last-person-on-earth-finale, or a world run by robot overlords, or a megacity planet slowly disintegrating into slums, or, easiest of all, a simple nuclear Armageddon? There are endless possibilities of how the modern civilization collapses. But just because dystopias are cinematic and dramatic, and much easier to imagine, that does not make them likely.
The flaw (fout) in most dystopian narratives is that they are not sustainable. Shutting down civilization is actually hard. (p. 12)
Geen utopia, noch dystopia maar protopia!
However, neither dystopia nor utopia is our destination. Rather, technology is taking us to protopia. More accurately, we have already arrived in protopia.
Protopia is a state of becoming, rather than a destination. It is a process. In the protopian mode, things are better today than they were yesterday. In the protopian mode, things are better than they were yesterday, although only a little better. It is incremental (piepkleine) improvement or mild progress. The “pro” in protopian stems from the notions of process and progress. This subtle progress is not dramatic, not exciting. It is easy to miss because a protopia generates almost as many new problems as new benefits. The problems of today were caused by yeterday’s technological successes, and the technological solutions to today’s problems will cause the problems of tomorrow. This circular expansion of both problems and solutions hide a steady accumulation of small net benefits over time. Ever since the Enlightenment and the invention of science, we’ve managed to create a tiny bit more than we’ve destroyed each year. But that few percent positive difference is compounded (uitgegroeid) over decades into what we might call civilization. Its benefits never stars in movies.
Protopia is hard to see because it is a becoming. It is a process that is constantly changing how other things change, and changing itself, is mutating and growing. It is difficult to cheer for a soft process that is shape-shifting. But it is important to see it. (p. 13)
Een ongehoorde flux van veranderingen
We don’t need to be blind to this continuous process. The rate of change in recent time has been unprecedented, which caught us off guard. But now we know: We are, and will remain, perpetual (eeuwigdurende) newbies. We need to believe in improbable things more often. Everything is in flux, and the new forms will be an uncomfortable remix of the old. With effort and imagination we can learn to discern what’s ahead more clearly, without blinders. (p. 15)
Een hoorn van overvloed
Not only did we fail to imagine what the web would become, we still don’t see it today. We are oblivious (niet bewust) to the miracle it has blossomed into. Twenty years after its birth the immense scope of the web is hard to fathom (doorgronden, pakken). The total number of web pages, including those that are dynamically created upon request, exceeds 60 trillion, That’s almost 10,000 pages per person alive. And this cornucopia (hoorn) has been created in less than 8,000 days. (p. 19-20)
The accretion (aanwas) of tiny marvels can numb us to the arrival of the stupendous (het kolossale). Today, from any window on the internet, you can get: an amazing variety of music and video, an evolving encyclopedia, weather forecasts, help-wanted ads, satellite images of any place on earth, up-to-the-minute news from around the globe, tax forms, TV guides, road maps with driving directions, real-time stock quotes, real estate listings with virtual walk-through and real-time prices, picture of just about anything, latest sport scores, places to buy everything, records of political contributions, library catalogs, appliance manuals, live traffic reports, archives of newspapers – all accessed instantly. (p. 20)
Spookachtig goddelijke koningen en koninginnen
This view is spookily godlike. You can switch your gaze on a spot in the world from map to satellite to 3-D just by clicking. Recall the past? It’s there. Or listen to the daily complaints and pleas of almost anyone who tweets or posts. (And doesn’t everyone?) I doubt angels have a better view of humanity.
Why aren’t we more amazed by this fullness? Kings of old would have gone to war to win such abilities. (p. 20)
Google je eigen huis
In a strict technical sense, the web today can be defined as the sum of all the things that you can google – that is, all files reachable with a hyperlink. Presently major portions of the digital world can’t be googled. A lot of what happens in Facebook, of on a phone app, or inside a game world, or even inside a video can’t be searched right now. In 30 years it will be. The tendrils of hyperlinks will keep expanding to connect all the bits. The events that take place in a console game will be as searchable as the news. You’ll be able to look for things that occur inside a YouTube video. Say you want to find the exact moment on your phone when your sister received her acceptance to college. The web will reach this. It will also extend to physical objects, both manufactured and natural. A tiny, almost free chip embedded into products will connect them to the web and integrate their data. Most objects in your room will be connected, enabling you to google your room.Or google your house. We already have a hint of that. I can operate my thermostat and my music system from my phone. In three more decades, the rest of the world will overlap my devices. Unsurprisingly, the web will expand to the dimensions of the physical planet. (p. 24)
Niet alleen het verleden
It will also expand in time. Today’s web is remarkably ignorant (onwetend) of the past. It may supply you with a live webcam stream of Tahir Square in Egypt, but accessing that square a year ago is nearly impossible. Viewing an earlier version of a typical website is not easy, but in 30 years we’ll have time sliders enabling us to see any past version. Just as your phone’s navigation directions through a city are improved by including previous days, weeks, and months of trafiic patterns, so the web of 2050 will be informed by the context of the past. And the web will slide into the fuure as well. (p. 24-25)
Altijd aanwezig, dienend
From the moment you wake up, the web is trying to anticipate your intensions. Since your routines are noted, the web is attempting to get ahead of your actions, to deliver an answer almost before you ask a question. It is built to provide the files you need before the meeting, to suggest the perfect place to eat lunch with your friend, based on the weather, your location, what you ate this week, what you had the last time you met with your friend, and as many factors as you might consider. You’ll converse with the web. Rather than flick through stacks of friends’ snapshots on your phone, you ask it about a friend. The web anticipates which photos you’d like to see and, depending on your reaction to those, may show you more or something from a different friend – of, if your next meeting is starting, the two emails you need to see. The web will more and more resemble a presence that you relate to rather than a place – the famous cyberspace of the 1980s – that you journey to. It will be a low-level constant presence like electricity: always around us, always on, and subterranean. By 2050 we’ll come to think of the web as an ever-present type of conversation. (p. 25)
Het internet is nog bezig te ‘worden’
But, but … here is the thing. In terms of the internet, nothing has happened yet! The internet is still at the beginning of the beginning. It is only becoming. If we could climb a time machine, journey 30 years into the future, and from that vantage (bevoorrechte plek) look back to today, we’d realize that most of the greatest products running the lives of citizens in 2050 were not invented until after 2016. (p. 26)
De beste tijd om te beginnen
So, the truth: Right now, today in 2016 is the best time to start up. There has never been a better day in the whole history of the world to invent something. There has never been a better time with more opportunities, more openings, lower barriers, higher benefit/risk ratios, better returns, greater upside than now. Right now, this minute. This is the moment that folks in the future will look back at and say: “Oh, to have been alive and well back then!
We are all becoming
The last 30 years has created a marvelous starting point, a solid platform to build truly great things. But what’s coming will be different, beyond, and other. The things we will make will be constantly, relentlessly becoming something else. And the coolest stuff of all has not been invented yet.Today truly is a wide-open frontier. We are all becoming. It is the best time ever in human history to begin.
You are not late. (p. 27)
Opmerkelijk: Seth Godin – What have we become? (And what are we becoming?) (25 juli 2015)
Twaalf technologische krachten die onze toekomst zullen vormen
01. Becoming (worden) – 02. Cognifying (slimmeren) – 03. Flowing (stromen) – 04. Screening (kijken) – 05. Accessing (toegangen) – 06. Sharing (delen) – 07. Filtering (filteren) – 08. Remixing (remixen) – 09. Interacting (interacteren) – 10. Tracking (tracken) – 11. Questioning (vragen) – 12. Beginning (beginnen)
(woensdag 3 augustus 2016)
Hans van Duijnhoven