CupCake CNC Lasercut Parts (makerbot.com)
The speed of changes that we experiment in the present societies to a great extent has to do with factors like the population growth, the forms as we share the information, the massive translation in young population or the spontaneous sprouting of urban tribes which are getting more and more complex. All the previous things causes a shock in societies where people can´t assimilate all the changes that happen around them due to the great amount of information and situations that they must affront in very short lapses of time.
I often get to talk to people that are very worried, with problems of adaptation to this times or concerned for the lack of jobs among many other things, generally they attribute this problems to bad government administrations and global economic crisis , In fact governments just like people are victims which haven´t been able to see the great economic and industrial shifts that are currently happening and the ones to come, for example the way in which people consume products , every time people will star to consume more and more digital information or contents (music, movies,Iphone apps,video games, farm ville objects etc..) , instead of buying physical objects as we did before, and also purchasing physical objects will start to be done under digital platforms were people can go , customize his object then get the 3D file and print it in his own home , and I´m not talking about a far away future this technologies are already available will be just be question of time to get them popularized. All this changes are going to originate new ways of economic systems in which there will be no middle man between the producer and the final consumer or at least the gap will be reduced dramatically which inevitable will cause a lot of companies to disappear creating the lack of jobs we are starting to see this days.
The lack of jobs and the inability of people to stay updated with current ways getting things done are ocasionating the social convulsions that we can see today like globalifobic and anti-technology movements for example.
Technology is whithout a doubt the one who is generating and impulsing all this changes , that is why its important that we (as societies , goverments and corporations) start developing strategies to regulate and democratize the technological advances .
This by no reason means to close or shut down the technological advance, as many romantic people may suggest the returning to a natural state, that would be like returning to a state were children die daily from the more simple diseases like it happens today in some african countries, a state were societies will be ignorant praying for weather phenomena to occur , if technology is not the key for human development what would be of people like Michelangelo,if their predecessors had not taken the initiative to invent the brush for example , its our obligation to develop tools that our future geenrations use to create things beyond our imagination. To turn the back to technology not only is stupid but immoral .
In fact we don´t only need less technology but even more , the problem we have been having all life is the stupid and selfish way in which we have been using technology, As soon as a new technology is born we are suddenly trying to find the way to package it and sell it without stopping to evaluate the consequences that this may have at middle and long terms , which has led us to an unsustainable confusing world of clutter.
Its natural that many people develops a disgust for technology but despite all we are all guilty in minor or greater degree of the use we have given it , it is necessary to start creating movements in pro of rational technology dedicated to foment the scientific investigation and technology development under a selective base.
The Open Source and DIY movements are one of the major shifts I have seen in order to build more democratic and sustainable technologies because they essentially remove the major problems of the old ways of privatization and exclusion that always have affected technology. When a new technology is shared openly so every one can use it , it dramatically reduces the opportunity for corporations to make instant profit with it ,using it in stupid products that have short term potential instead you allow several people to study , evaluate , apply and combine it with other technologies that may have a major positive long term impact on societies.In few words I think the problem with technology is not the discovery of it but the type of diffusion we give it, it is not the investigation but the application we give to new discoveries.
Only by creating a culture of openness we will be able to generate the tools that will help us improve and adapt in this ever changing world by making technology accessible to everyone. In the near future people will have to be more prepared because jobs and opportunities will require more and more critical judgement, the jobs were people went 8 hours to perform a repetitive task will dissapear due to the autamtization processes, that is why it is important to develop ways in which everyone is aware of the changes are happening around them so no one stays out of the game. So everyone should be out there being curious, researching , creating and sharing.
Some cool initiatives I have seen: