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Sunday, October 16, 2005

Preamble to Understanding the TransBeCosm

This Preamble to the evolving series of articles on Understanding the TransBeCosm serves multiple purposes. First, it identifies the single most catalyst as to why the TransBeCosm is happening. And secondly, it provides a generalized and categorized outline to the series of articles.

Just as various technologists such as Gilder have coined words to describe their notions (paradigms), so do they periodically create "laws" ... such as Moore's Law. One of the most prolific of these is Ray Kurzweil whose Kurzweil's Law is essentially the "law of accelerating returns." Kurzweil notes distinctions between order, data, and information. Order, while requiring information, goes beyond sheer information and requires information that fits a specific purpose. There is more to evolving order than increasing complexity. Deeper order is actually sometimes achieved through simplification (though not yet proven via the US tax code.) New ideas that bind together disparate ideas into a more coherent theory reduces complexity while increasing order for a purpose. The key is defining the problem, not whether new order is more or less complex.

The problem, or the catalyst for the entire TransBeCosm, is the rate of change. Essentially, when old systems cannot accommodate the ever increasing rate of change, new systems emerge. The evolution of technological change does not occur within a closed system, but takes place amid great chaos, depending on disorder in its midst, from which the options for diversity appear. As process continually prunes choices, greater order evolves.

A primary reason for technological evolution speeding up is that it builds on its own increasing order. Kurzweil notes that "innovation created by evolution encourages and enables faster evolution." Innovation is multiplicative more so than additive. Being multiplicative means we sometimes experience exponential increases. Kurzweil summarizes:

"An evolutionary process is not a closed system; therefore, evolution draws upon the chaos in the larger system in which it takes place for its options for diversity; and evolution builds on its own increasing order. Therefore, in an evolutionary process, order increases exponentially."

Thus, for instance, not only is the power of chips doubling approximately once a year, the number of chips being manufactured is growing exponentially, often reducing the cost per chip.

One consequence of more expansive power becoming increasingly affordable is frequent disconnects between the old ways and the new ways. Stated differently, some things or some persons are rendered obsolete. For instance, religious institutions have to loop back and come again or be displaced. The looping back is a form of deconstruction. The looping back allows discovery of new balance between principles enabling new opportunities for exponential increase.

The process has continuously accelerated. There was little technological change in a thousand years before the year 1000. Then paradigm shifts began requiring only a hundred years or so. By the nineteenth century there was more technological change than in the previous nine centuries combined. In the first twenty years of the twentieth century there was more advancement than in the entire nineteenth century. The technological progress of the twenty-first century will be more than the two-hundred previous centuries, or a thousand times more than the predecessor century.

Yet, many think the last seventy-five to one hundred years (maximum lifetimes of currently living persons) will never be duplicated, when it is more likely to increase one thousand fold! These folks will experience overwhelming disruption.

Many others think we are in a continuum of change but at the same rate that they can personally recall, when it is more likely to increase one thousand fold! These folks will experience significant disruption.

Even those who embrace the accelerating rate of change will experience disruption because some of a thousand fold increase in change is beyond our collective imaginations.

A listing of the planned categories of TransBeCosm articles will follow..

January 13, 2004

2 comments:

Gene Prescott said...

Fiorina: Technology will 'disappear' in 25 years

By Munir Kotadia
http://news.com.com/Fiorina+Technology+will+disappear+in+25+years/2100-1014_3-6041995.html

Story last modified Wed Feb 22 10:45:06 PST 2006

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The dot-com bust signaled the "end of the beginning" for technology, Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, told business leaders Wednesday.

Speaking at the Global Business Forum in Sydney, Fiorina told the audience that by 2030, technology will be so integral to daily living that we will take it for granted.


Carly Fiorina

"We have entered the main event of technology...We are talking about an era where technology is woven into the fabric of life and almost disappears. It means that technology is in everything and everywhere," Fiorina said.

The change will happen gradually, "although it is clearly going on now," she added.

Fiorina also explained her decision to take up positions on the boards of two companies--Cybertrust and Revolution Health--since her departure from HP just over one year ago. "In the next five years, the biggest areas of technological change will be in cybersecurity and health care. That is why I have chosen to sit on some company boards," she said.

Managing the transformation
Fiorina offered some advice to anyone looking to transform their business using something called her "leadership framework," which means viewing an organization as a combination of hardware and software.

"I would argue that structure, process, measurement and results are, to use technology terms, the hardware of the institution. The software is culture, behavior, personality, values. Just like a computer will not work without hardware and software, neither will an institution. We can't just change the hardware; you also have to change the software," she said.
In other news:

* Microsoft looks for 'protection' money
* Ask a question online, get an answer... sometimes
* HP Labs marks 40th with high-tech coffee table
* Nude photo site wins injunction against Google
* News.com Extra: All Google's roads lead to Kansas
* Sign up for News.com's Morning Dispatch and other newsletters.

According to Fiorina, a successful transformation will also require a balance of optimism and realism. "Optimism fundamentally is the belief that things can be better and people are capable of achieving more. Realism is what provides the discipline and rigor around change," she said.

"All change takes discipline and rigor. I don't care if change is losing weight or transforming a company. You better have discipline, rigor and measurement. And by the way, change happens in small steps," she added.

Munir Kotadia of ZDNet Australia reported from Sydney.

Gene Prescott said...

Carly Fiorina's notion of a balance between "structure, process, measurement, and results" and "culture, behavior, personality, and values" seems to be consistent with the tension in the Church As A Vehicle model. Centric to "balance" is that it is not an "either/or" situation but a you can't achieve one without the other situation. So in order to keep Programs and Management in the back seat, they need to be outpaced by real Realtionships and Vision.