About This Series – Earlier this week, a copy of Dr. Eric Shmidt’s and Jared Cohen’s book, The New Digital Age: Transforming nations, businesses and our lives arrived on my desk. You can read my notes on this book.

In this blog entry, I explore the current chapter, then share my reflections.

Table of Contents

Over the next few days, I’ll be reading the book and sharing my notes on what jumps out at me and my quick reflections.

MyNotes: Chapter 1 – Our Future Selves

  1. “People will find that being connected virtually makes us feel more equal–with access to the same basic platforms, information, and online resources–while significant differences persist in the physical world.”
  2. Having access to virtual will make physical interactions more efficient and effective. Authors cite example of Congolese fisherwomen who sell their fish catch online rather than watch it rot at a market. In this way, there is no need for refrigeration, no need for someone to guard the fish, no danger of spoiled fish, no unnecessary overfishing.
  3. People are able to leap frog old technologies (e.g. dial-up modems) and go directly to high-speed wireless connections, which means “the transformations that connectivity brings will occur even more quickly than they did in the developed world.”
  4. “What connectivity also brings is the ability to collect and use data.”
  5. Haircuts will finally be automated and machine-precise.
    Response: This is pretty amazing…I always think that hair-dressing won’t be out-sourced but it’s possible technology might take over this. Scary but possible? Right now, I’m able to schedule my haircut appointments using my mobile phone and avoid wait time (e.g. GreatClips app).
  6. Since integrated systems will take care of stuff that takes time out of our day, “we’ll be able to use our time more effectively each day–whether that means having the time to have a ‘deep think,'” etc.
    Response: When I reflect on how much time I spent looking at web sites and how much time I save now using RSS tools like Zite, Flipboard, Feedly.com, I am grateful that I don’t have to waste time anymore trying to get to the information I need or want. Now, it comes to me.
  7. “Instant language translation, virtual-reality interactions, and real-time collective editing–most easily understood today as wikis–will reshape how firms and organizations interact with partners, clients, and employees in other places…the ability to engage with people in disparate locations, with near-total comprehension and on shared platforms, will make such interactions feel incredibly familiar.”
    Response: I am already experiencing the benefit of being able to interact with folks using wikis, or GoogleDocs/Drive. Google Drive, Hangouts have made these interactions possible and easy.
  8. Mobile Phone Shoe Charger – Twenty-four year old inventory Anthony Mutua (2012 Nairobi science fair) shared an ultrathin crystal chip that can generate electricity when put under pressure. Just by walking, a person can charge his mobile phone.
    Response: Although the authors assert that this is something best used in developing countries, there are some obvious benefits for folks who spend a lot of time on their feet, out and about. Smartphones drain power from their batteries, especially when you’re using them for GPS, etc. I would love to see this kind of technology available now.
  9. “Most students will be highly technologically literate in some cases, as schools continue to integrate technology into lesson plans and, in some cases, replace traditional lessons with more interactive workshops. Education will be a more flexible experience, adapting itself to children’s learning styles and pace instead of the other way around. . .Critical thinking and problem-solving skills will become the focus in many school systems as ubiquitous digital-knowledge tools…reduce the importance of rote memorization.”
    Response: This is certainly the hope but I see this under development organically rather than systemically. That’s a concern, isn’t it?
  10. Digital platforms will eventually be able to withstand any environmental turbulence and continue to serve the needs of users. 
  11. A lot of predictions….
  12. “Each individual, state and organization will have to discover its own formula, and those that can best navigate this multidimensional world will find themselves ahead in the future.”

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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