A compelling comparison between events of The Renaissance (1450 - 1550) and modern-day affairs (aka "from Gutenberg to Zuckerberg").
Among the historicA compelling comparison between events of The Renaissance (1450 - 1550) and modern-day affairs (aka "from Gutenberg to Zuckerberg").
Among the historical figures highlighted in this comparison are Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Columbus, Magellan, Copernicus and Martin Luther.
Among the topics discussed are global trade, global finance, free speech, immigration, religious persecution, pandemics and education.
One overarching theme is that the more things change, the more they stay the same. While this book doesn't attempt to solve any of our current cultural challenges it reminds us that our challenges are not new, their form merely changes over time. "Whether the twenty-first century goes down in the history books as one of humanity's best or worst, depends on what we do to promote the possibilities and dampen the dangers."
A few conclusions:
~ "We've picked clean the low-hanging fruit. Doubling our lifespan again will be hard." ~ "Genius can never eliminate our problems; it can only replace them with new ones."
Final thought: "For all its hype, the computer has had less impact on people's incomes than the flush toilet." ...more
You only need to look at recent trends to project what is likely to unfold over the next few years. The author takes thIt's 2046. How did we get here?
You only need to look at recent trends to project what is likely to unfold over the next few years. The author takes this approach to peer into the future. However, he is careful to point out that his analysis is more about trajectories than destinies.
At the center of every significant change in our lives today is a technology of some sort. Technology is humanity's accelerant.
This book paves a road to the future using well-documented trends in technology. Since technologies constantly evolve and change, we are all Endless Newbies regardless of our age and experience. Embrace being an Endless Newbie.
These trajectories are organized into 12 chapters with titles such as Becoming, Cognifying, Flowing, Screening, etc. which represent various slices of these technology trajectories. For example, in Cognifying, the author posits that everything we formerly electrified we will now cognify (add intelligence). "The business plans of the next 10,000 startups are easy to forecast: The X and add AI."
Robots are inevitable and job replacement is only a matter of time. As a result of these technology trajectories we will be forced to surrender to machines and spend decades in a permanent identity crisis, continually asking ourselves what humans are good for. Our human assignment will be to keep making jobs for robots, and that is a task that will never be finished.
This is not a race against the machines, but rather, a race with the machines. The race will not end positively, on a personal level, unless you embrace the trajectory of technology and carve out a personal path that adds value to humanity with the assistance of automation.