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As 2009 draws to a close…

December 31, 2009

As 2009 draws to a close and we begin our second decade in the new millenium, I am increasingly aware of the acceleration in the rate of change.   I see it in my own life as the days, months and years seem to fall from the calendar faster and faster, and I see it in my work as more people move online and increase the degree of connectivity in the global human network.  Set against the backdrop of the last 2000 years, the last 100 years in human technology looks like a ski jump ramp.  Exponential, asymptotic.  

Craters of the moon park in Idaho.  In the 1860’s, the first settlers crossed this area in horse drawn wagons.   A hundred years later in the 1960’s, astronauts trained in this same  area as they prepared to travel to the moon by rocket.   After thousands of years of life  rolling about on stone and wooden wheels behind beasts of burden, in the scant space of 100 years, mankind is driving cars, flying jets, and leaving the planet routinely on rockets. 

Plastics and alloys, cars, jets, rockets, atomic power, lasers, computers, fiber optic, cellular and satellite communication networks, the internet, test tube babies, cloning, super conductors.   Most of these have evolved from science fiction to fact, and on to commercialized products which are becoming increasingly commoditized and mainstream.   

So what?   Tomorrow will start a new decade for all of us, and perhaps it is an opportunity to take stock of where we are within all these different evolutionary streams of technology.  Are we early adopters and pioneers or just being carried along by the wave?

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