Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Entering a dark age of innovation?

My friend Dave Cline sent me this link to a New Scientist article titled Entering a dark age of innovation. As I have been following this space of accelerating change for some time now, I have to say that I am not in agreement with much of the analysis presented by Jonathan Huebner. The best comment that I saw was by Ray Kurzweil who stated:
But artificial intelligence expert Ray Kurzweil - who formulated the aforementioned law - thinks Huebner has got it all wrong. "He uses an arbitrary list of about 7000 events that have no basis as a measure of innovation. If one uses arbitrary measures, the results will not be meaningful."
I believe that it goes even beyond this ... his measurements using population make a gross assumption about segmentations in population. He seems to feel that raw numbers on global population growth should somehow be mirrored by innovation. This, IMHO, confuses the genetic basis of equality in human design, with the environment and community within which to create what would be recognized as "modern innovation". With so much third world population growth, I do not believe that you can expect to see a proportional amount of "modern" innovation.

I am constantly reminded by this when I watch Link TV and see programs like this one about Peanuts ... and the fact that in this country a simple peanut sheller can make a huge difference in their life. Likewise in this program, River of Sand, I was amazing to be reminded of the daily life of these people ... and is Huebner trying to say that they are expected to create their proportional amount of measureable innovation??

I believe that what we are seeing is more of what is called the "great divide" ... the "haves and have nots" ... the continuing division of those who are leveraging the tools of the modern world, and those who have little immediate requirement or ability to access them.

As I was reminded this last weekend, all people are "created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." For a huge portion of the worlds population this has nothing to do with modern innovation.


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