It’s hard to be bearish when the third wave is coming
Having just read The Third Wave by Steve Case, it is almost impossible to have a negative view of the world.
A basic summary is this:
The internet of old was two dimensional. You sent an email and received an email. You looked up the news and that was about it for the first decade.
The second wave came with the invention of apps and devices and integrated the internet into your life, however, it was a still a direct input in to input out. You needed to create your own data and most of that data was for your own analysis. The perfect example are the fitness apps that are becoming popular of late. They tell you your heart beat and how far you have run, but not much else.
The third wave is what the architect of the internet Tim Berners-Lee had in mind when he was building the world wide web. He imagined that everything would connect to everything else. Sadly, in the beginning all the corporations that connected to the web had closed loop systems that did not talk to each other. Apple is famous for this.
When Leonardo Da Vinci stated that “everything is connected to everything else”, he could see the unlimited possibilities in the world. This vision is about to be realised in the next decade.
Imagine a world where cancer and disease were cured because our lives were constantly being analysed and filtered through supercomputers that are able to make connections that a human can’t. The human brain can generally only keep 7 items in its consciousness at one point in time. Connections in the subconscious are far less limited. We are unable to naturally see patterns that may be extremely important to our lives. We can have a hunch, but it might not be more than that.
Imagine if a computer could know what you eat, know how you exercise, know how you sleep, know your genetic code and combine all this analysis to give accurate details of what causes diseases or cancer. At present, we have little idea what causes a number of diseases and cancer.
It may be less complex than that. It may be that the internet will connect all cars and traffic lights enabling the average road trip to save 10 mins. If the average person saved 20 mins on the road per day, the increase in productivity around the world is extraordinary.
The rate of learning will exponentially increase. Current teaching techniques are crude tools for mind development. The way the brain remembers can be learnt by a super computer so that instead of leaning something week one of a school term and then being tested 5 months later (when 99% of people have forgotten what they learnt), a super computer can work with a student and their learning pace. Using Tony Buzan memory techniques, such as revision after 1 hr, 1 day, 1 week, 1 month and 1 year, the rate of leaning and memory retention will beyond our highest hopes. Imagine this combined with knowing if you learn better through visual, audio, rhythm or analogy. The computer can know if you are struggling in any area and focus attention on that area. The computer will have Wii like abilities to demonstrate physical actions. Siri will become our teacher in the future.
These few examples are what the world has to look forward to in the next decade. The productivity increases will be as fast as any other time in human history. Our lives will be enriched more than we can imagine.
The beauty is that it is happening now with IMB’s Watson and other super computers from Apple and Google. We are only in the infancy and for those that can comprehend where this can go, the ability to connect everything with everything else is world changing.
It took me a while to understand why Buffett invested in IBM. Da Vinci also said, “there are those that see, there are those that see when they are shown, and there are those that just don’t see”. I had to read The Third Wave to see where the world is headed and it truly is a bright future.