How to Make Sense of The Fourth Industrial Revolution

Original article written for The W.H.Y Community, available here

The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Keeping up with The Pace of Change

We live in a world in which the pace of change is unprecedented, thanks to exponential shifts triggered by contemporary automation, data exchange and manufacturing technologies. What is the fourth industrial revolution and why is it crucial for us to understand its implications on our lives?

Skærmbillede 2016-08-20 kl. 10.52.35

We truly live in a spectacular era. Yes, we are constantly reminded of the perils of our world – terrorism, threats of economic crisis, unprecedented immigration patterns and tense superpower relations. Whichever way you lean politically, the chances are that these are issues that will feature prominently in your life over the next few years. Yet, there are equally favourable chances that companies such as Bitcoin, Boom Financial, CommonBond, DriveNow, Prosper, Airbnb, Tesla, Oculus Rift,DriveNow, Google and Uber may also shake things up in your life in the not too distant future if they are not doing so already. True to the age old adage, there is no opportunity without a gamble.

Whilst action is indeed needed when it comes to addressing the aforementioned challenges, we, as a human race today, stand on the cusp of changes in our history that are so profound that ”there has never been a time of greater promise or potential peril.” Klaus Schwab, Founder and Chairman of The World Economic Forum.

 What is The Fourth Industrial Revolution?

You may be wondering where such an assertion, as spectacular as the very changes it describes, takes its point of departure. Well, let’s start with the device that you’re using to read this article. Within the next 20 years, this device, be it a computer, tablet or Smartphone, is going to be at the heart and soul of the shift in the manner in which we interact with the world around us. As concepts such as the Internet of things, robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, nanotechnology, quantum computing, energy storage and others flare up from being prospects in their infancy to being the driving forces of our world, we can well and truly talk of what has come to be dubbed, the fourth industrial revolution.

Yet this is not a revolution of steam and industry – of years of experimentation and incremental change. It is not a revolution of grease, tar and concrete – this is an explosion, a stylish matrix of happenings that can and will change the status quo, if it is managed properly.

Like its predecessors, the fourth industrial revolution looks set to bring a wave on unprecedented changes in its wake. However it differs in its scope and scale in that when the technologies described previously work together, the results that they will produce are exponential as opposed to linear, creating effects that will alter what, how and who we are. Moreover, this fusion of technologies will, for the first time in history, blur the lines between physical, digital and biological spheres. But what does all this mean for you?

 Making Sense of The Fourth Industrial Revolution

As spectacular as the promises and the potential that the fourth industrial revolution are, we are, as it stands, at a point in history where we have yet to comprehend what exactly the revolution is and what it means for us. Our rudimental knowledge of how to respond to the technological forces driving the world forward is therein a limitation to the impact that these very forces can have on our governments, companies, and life, as we know it.

The sheer scope, scale and pace of change orchestrated by the technological changes inherent to the fourth industrial revolution are vast and difficult to grasp. Therefore, the key to implementing them successfully lies in LEADING THE CHANGE in a strategic and holistic manner. Those with the drive and the means to push for change need to:

  • Understand the scope of the technology driving the fourth industrial revolution
  • Grasp the pace of change that this revolution promises and scale it down to context-specific understandings
  • Generate a dialogue around this revolution that allows for knowledge sharing, game-changing conversation and immersive experiences that create and nurture an understanding of how to move forward

Skærmbillede 2016-08-20 kl. 10.53.30.png

The W.H.Y. aims to gather the talents and forces that can execute this paradigm shift and give them a framework within which they can craft their potential, channel their creativity, interact with like-minded people than can and ultimately, change the world. Our ability to do so ultimately depends on how well we keep up with the blistering pace of change. It is this ability to manage and respond to change that must lead the case for exponential change, which needs to be holistic and digested into context-specific scenarios if we hope to address the perennial alienation of the underprivileged.

Advertisements

Acceleration 4.o the 4th industrial revolution

Original article written for The W.H.Y Community, available here

Technology goes beyond mere tool making; it is a process of creating ever more powerful technology using the tools from the previous round of innovation.” –Ray Kurzweil

Four decades ago the world commemorated the advent of the personal computer. At that time, this device bent the rules of life on earth in a manner that seemed incomprehensible to even the sharpest of minds. Fast-forward forty plus years and we are now entering an age where up to two thirds of the population of developed countries own handheld devices such as smartphones.

 Less is more

If the PC of the eighties challenged the sceptics at that time, imagine how baffling a technology like today’s iphone would have been to them were it readily available for commercial use back then. Allow me to illustrate: A 1982 Osborne Executive portable computer weighs almost 100 times more, cost 10 times as much (adjusted for inflation) and has roughly 1/100th of the clock frequency (speed) of a 2007 Apple iphone. Remarkable isn’t it?

Skærmbillede 2016-08-20 kl. 10.47.16.png

 Less is” Moore”

Yet what’s interesting in all of this change is not particularly the change itself, but rather, the pace of change. The rate at which new technology develops is increasing and it is doing so exponentially. Part of the reason for this happening lies in the fact that the capabilities of computer chips have increased whilst their price has dropped. This trend has come to be termed “Moore’s Law.” What follows is a development trade-off that is turning the fantasies of our imagination into the everyday technologies that define the way in which we interact with one another and with the world around us. Whilst this is definitely part of the explanation behind the exponential development of computer-based technologies, Moore’s law is merely one of many such-like changes in other technologies such as DNA sequence data and manufacturing processes. Less truly is more and will be even more in the future if the current pace of change continues. But then again, there is every indication that it will only increase in ways we can’t predict, so how can we possibly foresee the future based on this notion?

The short answer is that we can’t – the future will always retain a quality of unpredictability. However, what we can do is familiarize ourselves with the nature of the technological evolution that we are in the midst of currently. Indeed, ”there has never been a time of greater promise or potential peril.” Klaus Schwab, Founder and Chairman of The World Economic Forum. Today’s technologies are tomorrow’s solutions and they need to be implemented in such a way that their impact is holistic, as opposed to being limited to the reach of a selected few. Those in a position to spearhead this change need to understand how to do so – leaders, top talents and opinion makers need to grasp WHAT this change implies for them and learn HOW to implement it at strategic levels, one step at a time.

 

 

 

Freedom of Expression : Art as an Instrument for the benefit of Society

Imagine a city where graffiti wasn’t illegal, a city where everybody could draw wherever they liked. Where every street was awash with a million colours and little phrases. Where standing at a bus stop was never boring. A city that felt like a party where everyone was invited, not just the estate agents and barons of big businesses. Imagine a city like that and stop leaning against the wall- it’s wet. (Banksy 2006)

 

laugh_now_canvas

Why pay for public space when it’s yours free of charge ?

 

Just how benevolent the intentions of your average street artist are is a matter that is up for debate. There is little doubt that many of those who read this article are at this point conjuring up vivid memories of unsightly graffiti tags spread provocatively on a concrete wall. Many of these tags are little more than self-referential scrawls and untidy scribbles that do anything but decorate or add aesthetic value to the walls upon which they are etched. Unfortunately this graphic connotation has become a synonymous association in the minds of many people who hear the utterance of the word graffiti. Again, what graffiti is and whether or not it adds value to a concrete wall is up for discussion. What is not up for debate, however, is the right of individuals to freely and openly engage with their natural environment. This is a claim that is true of the indigenous tribes of the Amazon, as it is true of farmers of the vast endless open countrysides. It is a claim that is truer still for the inhabitants of our cities.

In The U.K alone, it is estimated that up to 92% of the population will be living in cities by the year 2030. Cities are the hubs from which the majority of us operate, they are our lifeblood, our natural environment, our homes. As such, it would seem logical to assume that we should all have a say in what goes on in our cities. Why then is it that every free public space in numerous capitals around the world is plastered with a glittering array of flickering billboards, neon lighting and ream upon ream of paper posters all placed by companies and advertising agencies encouraging people to buy their products? More importantly, why is not allowed for you and I as city residents to draw / sketch / colour or shade the walls, roads and public spaces of our cities ? Companies pay for the rights to horde advertising space but what they don’t pay for is the infringement upon the civil liberties of the individual and in any case, since when was public space an entitlement that required people to cough up astronomic sums of money in order for them to be a part of it ?

Banksy’s world

The British street artist, Banksy whose work until very recently remained anonymous, so as to emphasize it’s meaning over its identity has, as a point of departure, aimed to reclaim public space for the individual in society. Banksy’s thought-provoking images, primarily via the use of thick stenciling and powerful epigrams have raised awareness and challenged the status quo the world over, from London to New Orleans. The Bristol-born artist’s work has triggered numerous thoughts in the minds of people the world over though ultimately none of these are as provocative as the eternal question of what art really is.

The redefinition of street art is evident in many a Bansky piece, from his emotionally-charged work around New Orleans in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina in 2008, to replicated Che Guevara faces splashed on overpasses around Camden Town, London. His reclamation of public space as his own creative studio doesn’t stop here however. Banksy has repeatedly made his way into revered art galleries such as the Tate modern and either hung up his work without the consent of the curators or made minor changes to the work of existing artists, in a daring attempt to redefine the essence of art. Bold maneuvers such as these have, amongst other things challenged the notion of modern art being the trophy cabinet of a few well-off individuals in society who’ve somehow conspired to keep market prices at exorbitant prices out of the reach of ordinary people.

Reclaim your city today

The idea of art being accessible to all and being made by everyone is an idealistic notion pursued by many in society. It is needless to say that this is easier said than done, though what art is has never been as disputed as much as it is today. Artists like Banksy and many others have challenged the use of public space by reclaiming it from advertising agencies and redefining it for the masses. Street art and within it, graffiti has pushed for its right to exist as a non-profit statement in the backdrop of

This said, imagine once again a colourful city sparkling in a myriad of glittering shades, each with finely carved intricate artistic details etched emphatically onto them. Imagine a city of smiles and pedestrians clad in creative apparel- a city in which each individual is unique and sports a flamboyant hairdo- from the bald and bold to the bold and the beautiful; everyone conforms to the self sculpted image of themselves and does away with social constructionism. Their diversity forms the paint palette for the beautiful canvas patchwork that they each paint, draw, scribble and smudge on. Imagine all the possible shades of colours you can think of and imagine them spread in no apparent or planned manner, like the brightest stars of the sky on the canvas of the dark night. Imagine that this was your city and that you could paint and draw anywhere you wanted to.

 

banksy-butterflygirl

 

 

 

The people who run our cities don’t understand graffiti because they think nothing has the right to exist unless it makes a profit…
the people who truly deface our neighborhoods are the companies that scrawl giant slogans across buildings and buses trying to make us feel inadequate unless we buy their stuff….
any advertisement in public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours, it belongs to you ,, its yours to take, rearrange and re use.Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head..” Banksy

Independent Thought. How far from the truth is humanity today ?

Consider this:

Each person is at each moment capable of remembering all that has ever happened to him and of perceiving everything that is happening everywhere in the universe (C.D Broad). Language and social constructivism turn the brain into a filter of reality, one that inhibits us from understanding the collective totality of our reality and turns society into herd animals incapable of independent reasoning. Coincides with Nietzche’s position on man being born into and limited by his contructs.

 

 

 

Collective delinquency. This is what marketing, branding, collective religion (i.e. as opposed to individual religion), family structures and the general consensus in our imbalanced societies preach. No wonder the banks, Republicans, elitists, fashion firms, media houses and politicians got so wealthy ! Milking comformity is profitable business !

The Pirate Bay. A Peer-to-peer information sharing module for the future

This is a  documentary about The creators of The Pirate Bay, the world’s largest peer-to peer file sharing system. To label the architects of a system that facilitates the exchange of free information between individuals as criminals seems unjust though it’s not altogether a suprise. The fight against institutions like The Pirate Bay, Anonymous and Wikilieaks has only just begun- peer to peer sharing models are the only way forward to combatting the problems caused by traditional corporate models that give more rights to people who already wield considerable money and influence at the expense of those who don’t.  If the world is to address the issue of social inequality, those with money and power at the moment will have to learn to share. This statement is a threat to the American Dream.

 

Fibre Optic Experiments

I would never have imagined that a 30 Kroner fibre optic lamp from Tiger (a Danish discount shop) could have taught me as much as the nature of our universe as I learned since I bought it a year or so ago.

“After people die, other people are born, and they are all you. Only you can only experience it one at a time. Everybody is I, you all know you are you and wheresoever beings exist throughout all galaxies, it doesn’t make any difference, you are all of them. And when they come into being, that’s you coming into being. You know that very well. Only you don’t have to remember the past in the same way you don’t have to think about how you work your thyroid gland. You don’t have to know how to shine the sun you just do it, like you breath. “Alan Watt’s

396393_10150640414944450_1162796851_n

396533_10150640411179450_97584944_n

425937_10150640412519450_2135518331_n

430167_10150640412289450_291359401_n

431514_10150640414364450_84916308_n

432323_10150640411324450_1871199020_n

535214_10150718300209450_1752003391_n

536822_10150718299954450_2035071582_n

546254_10150718298234450_1203805776_n

551557_10150718300114450_1621939601_n

Time Relativity Theory

The sequential, programmed reactions of hydrogen particles; a process that is uniform throughout as a means to construct the human unit of time. Fascinating and precise.

 

 

Yet even on earth, time is a relative construct that has been shaped politically or otherwise with the overall goal of fulfilling a partcular motive, ulterior, genuine or otherwise. Whilst Greenwich meantime has been accepted as the basis from which the world anchors its time structure, the earth is not in fact divided up into 24 equal time zones. Some nations such as Nepal for instance, have zig-zagging time zones that don’t correspond to the unitised zonal time system. And as demonstrated by the Treriksrøysa border point (the point at which the borders of Russia, Finland and Norway converge) time is different from one spot to another. The three nations on all sides of the Treriksrøysa point adhere to different time zones. In practice, ice hockey teams from the border zones of the three countries travel backwards or forwards in time on each and every occassion of them crossing the border for a match. Hence, people of this region, despite being almost in the same place interpret a common concept differently and therefore structure their lives differently too.

 

 
Ergo from different reference points there can never be agreement on the simultaneity of events.

 

 

Thus, time is a socially constructed concept of something that is in fact completely different to all the numerous and detailed forms of perception that we have engineered in order to comprehend it. In similar vein, just as the Scottish philosopher David Hume propagated, objects consist of their properties and nothing more. An apple is red and juicy because these are the properties we synthesise in order to comprehend what the apple is. We assign it properties to aid the process of differentiating it from other objects in the universe, and in so doing distort its actual form. The same is true of time. Measuring it, is like looking at a text through a magnifying glass; the font appears larger and more detailed, and indeed it is from our point of view. The reality of the situation is however that the text is a lot smaller in it’s innate form. Our synthesis of time into units (seconds, days, years etc…) provides regularity to a process that is both imperfect and relative. We construct a reality that doesn’t neccessarily reflect the substancial truth.

Plan (et) B

I long for the a society which doesn’t love in order to hurt itself, of places faraway from the menaces and perils of the time, of sundowns that need no words to describe them and dreams that seem too good to be true. I want to wake up in the dawn’s embrace one morning and look into her eyes and know that every inch of her feels the same way about me as I feel about her. I want to be faraway from this decadence, from the jaded character of the world before me. I want to understand, I want to discern the truth behind the mockery,the savagery, the hatred, the divisions of society. I want to know what the world has done to itself and if we are destined for another place, why are we still here fighting ourselves ? I want to know why the only audience for all these words is a musical instrument and a sheet of paper, why fallen leaves and butterfly wings are the only things that can hear the screams of the world, the pains of the past and the doubts of the present. I long for many things, and many more, but what good is longing when there’s 7 Billion more that long for just the same ?

Oil paint in Water: The Night Before Christmas

We’re descending towards Kastrup and the sky is a wonderfully enlightening shade of misty crimson that seems to dance on into all eternity. IF I could choose a moment to be stuck in for all of time, it would probably be this one, high above the curious white patchwork of clouds a few hundred feet below me looking at the glistening aluminum wings of the plane on the first day after the winter solstice. I don’t care about what lies beneath the clouds but still it interests me as I sit here feeling the force of the plane descending, that beautiful feeling of free fall that is so wholeheartedly unfamiliar yet so indescribably elating. It seems as if we’re flying into the pink / crimson horizon, as if in a flash we’ll be on the other side of a new and utterly different world of warmth and colour. And even as the crimson fades and its beauty is relegated to static vibrations that linger ever so daintily, I still love this place, and these fleeting colours before me, and I wish that everyone around me could feel what I feel, for all eternity