Week 1 – The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab

Klaus Schwab states that the force behind the Fourth Industrial Revolution and thus all major developments and technologies in our generational future will take advantage of the widespread power of digitization and information technology. Schwab organises the interconnected megatrends into physical, digital and biological. Alongside describing the future innovations and technologies, Schwab also analyses and warns us about the potential risks associated with the technologies becoming over consuming of our work lives, individual selves and on broader governmental and national levels. Broadly, he warns to be well informed and mindful to not let technology strip us of our basic needs and human spirit for connection, compassion, self-reflection (time for ourselves) and belonging.

MIT clinical psychologist Sherry Turkle, coined this term “spiral of silence” when what individuals consume become very narrow and polarised according to their own viewpoints, political and social beliefs. Michel Martin, a journalist with NPR also talks about this in the context of journalism where more and more people are choosing to read niche/boutique blogs, newspapers etc. and they are able to select their bubble and not come out of it. Martin argues that there is an issue with the decline of the big newspaper and there is no gathering place for all us to come together. Growing up already in the decline of what is defined nowadays as traditional media (newspapers) I wonder if there was ever a place/median where everyone could come together? I thought niche/boutique media grew out of minority voices being drowned out by the majority or the norm. Also, with so many individual voices to be heard how can one place cater for it all? Perhaps on a less ambitious note, Martin describes that a huge part of her radio/podcast journalism work is bringing people together who would normally not meet. One place for everyone to come together seems idealist however striving to broaden people’s views and perspectives is always important.


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