“Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate.” – Tom Goodwin
A handful of questions run through my mind as I read in bewilderment: I’m back at university – a glimmering, awful truth – and I’m reading from the perspective of being a young woman in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Flicking between the ideas of Klaus Schawg, I was immediately drawn to his clipped words of TechCrunch writer, Tom Goodwin. A quote that leveraged the incredible pervasive power of digitalisation and the overwhelming flow of information technology, the words illuminated across the pages as I realised how passive I’d become to new technologies. Absorbing each new feature, for the last few months I had taken all these technologies for granted; from pitiful descriptions on Facebook posts to the musings of artificial intelligence. Indeed, alike a lot of my peers, I’m sure a Blu-ray copy of Ex Machina sits somewhere on my shelves; our network literacy becoming an innate quality we should probably be highlighting on our LinkedIn.
Kicks aside, the advanced digital power we have attained has created opportunities for phenomenal digital innovation. While I could rattle off notes on gene sequencing, advanced robotics or even new materials, the poignancy in this week’s reading lies in the elevation of power we hold at our fingertips as media consumers, makers and future industry leaders. Whether it’s physical, digital or biological, our relationship with computing power and smart tools is plunging deeper into the honeymoon phase as we continue to curate costs and energy into bettering it’s performance. Indeed, as technologies become better, we become more imbricated in it’s connections – we’re wrapping ourselves in a threadless web that knot us tighter and tighter to these technologies.
On a personal level, my work right now in the industry is almost 100% online and I couldn’t be more thrilled at society shifting towards this flowing universe. I do wonder though, as the web gets tighter across these megastructures, will we ever truly be able to become disconnected?
This one thought feels a little like this: