To save the future, we must rethink technology

The coronavirus is not the end of the world. But it is a warning shot not to be missed. Plagues come and go, but this is a dress rehearsal for even more traumatic events coming soon. And if we don’t plan together now, we’ll be blindsided once again.

The coronavirus must wake us to these changes:
* Accelerated social change due to AI (Artificial Intelligent) outplacing workers.
* Technology doing everything, changing forever human-machine interaction.
* Climate change

To successfully control these changes, and not freeze in paralyzing despair, we need to imagine an entirely new portfolio of tools and, especially, how we use them.

We need to rethink technology.

Over the past century, the natural sciences have revealed how nature resolves all opposites. Time is both straight and curved; chaos is highly developed order; mass and energy are the same. Now we have to infuse those insights into the tools we engineer, and how we use them.

We must determine that the outcome of our tool use is an act of mercy or kindness, not abuse or savagery. And engage in what Rilke called “the great work of the world.”

The first step is to agree what that “great work” is, the better to focus on solutions - not more wasteful consumer gizmos - with the right combination of composure, compassion, engineering and analysis, so that we and our descendants will survive and flourish in whatever is to come.

— © 2020, Thomas Mahon

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