Technology

Technology is the key to decisive opportunities

A current growth are is computer coding - this involves describing a process clearly and logically. Once you have mastered one computer language, it is relatively easy to switch to another as the core principles are the same. It holds the key to future jobs, ie it is estimated that there are around 300,000 vacant positions globally for people with this expertise in Apple's iOS (Tony Boyd, 2014a)

Elance-oDesk (online workplace) that connects more than 2 m. businesses and 8 m. freelancers over the Internet (2014). The most in-demand skills are technical ones involving websites formatting

Examples of technology is mobile

"...mobile phone technology has proliferated rapidly in countries such as India, China and Africa where people were fed up with the long wait they had for landline......some of the less developed nations have leapfrogged over us in areas such as per capita reach of high-speed broadband..."

Rupert Murdoch, 2008

Furthermore,

"...Technology is destroying the business models we have relied on for decades. This is especially true for those whose business models have been based on one-size-fits-all approach to the customers..."

Rupert Murdoch, 2008

An example of this is classified advertisements. Until recently they were a critical source of revenue for newspapers; with the classifieds being your only oppurtunity to match a buyer and seller. Recently web sites have provided a more convenient and cheaper way to buy or sell. Thus classified advertisements are in the history books!!!!!

"...History also shows that with each new advance, existing businesses are forced to become more creative and relevant to the customers. Once upon a time, the media and entertainment companies could count on huge, up-front investments to discourage contenders from entering the business. But now, in many sectors, the cost barriers to entry have never been lower - and the opportunities for the energetic and the creative have never been greater. Competition is becoming more intense everyday because technology now allows the little guy to do what once required a huge corporation. Look at the Drudge report, Max Drudge doesn't really create content. Instead, he finds material that he thinks is interesting, and puts it up on one of the Internet's simplest pages. Readers come because trust his judgment. And he is showing that good news judgment is something that can add value. In other words, with the single web page, Drudge has succeeded in challenging all the leading media companies of our day - including mine, and he has done its with minimal startup costs: a computer, a modem and some space on a server. When someone uses technology this way, consumers benefit. And it's not just the Internet that allows this to happen. Just think of all the things that you can do now because of technology - things that would have been impossible just 20 years ago..."

Rupert Murdoch, 2008

Technology is changing the way newspapers are operating. With access to analytics, publishers and editors can now measure how many people click on an article, how long they look at it, how much they read, where readers like, their likely income and interests/habits (like what they have been looking at to buy, eg a new car or maternity dress, etc). They can use this knowledge to put customised advertisements in their publications. As the media makes its money from advertising, news sites have to attract "hits" to attract the advertisers.
Unfortunately online advertising revenue cannot compensate for lost sales from print advertisements like classified ads for houses, jobs, cars, etc. Thus

"...editors are chasing more readers for less money, and the way to make money is to attract as many readers and keep them on side so they can soak up your ads........."

Nick Cohen, 2015
This can become lowest common denominator journalism
There is a trend to determine writers, pay by how many unique visitors they bring, eg trainee writers will receive $5 per 1,000 unique monthly visitors; they have 3 months to achieve their targets if they want to stay writing.

"...to get traffic, fewer and fewer news sites can afford to send out writers to find original content. So they steal from other news sites, or lift and repackage a YouTube video or Twitter exchange that may go viral..."

Nick Cohen, 2015

There is a "churn and burn" attitude to writing for newspapers with little time for checking the validity of stories.

"...Google says the company wants to look at your consumption of news, your search patterns, your mail and your posts, anticipate your intellectual and emotional wishes, and give you work which matches them, so that you never need to read anything that would tax, unsettle or surprise you..."

Nick Cohen, 2015

Technology has allowed us to do more of what we want to do in less time and at less cost; thus making us more efficient.

"...When you applied these marginal improvements across any country, profits are increased, friends are made, and......have greater access to information than at any other time in our shared history. The market encourages the spread of technology because businesses have an incentive to attract more and more customers. That's why technological breakthroughs that start out as expensive luxuries quickly become everyday necessities. In 2008, for example, in India and China alone 2 million mobile phones will be sold. But technology will do you no good unless you have the men and women who now can to take advantage of it......as technology levels the playing field, the human actor becomes more important...... that's because computers will never replace common sense and good judgment. They'll never have empathy either. To be successful, a business needs people who see the big picture, who think critically, and who have strong character......as technology advances, the premium for educated people with talent and judgment will increase. In the future, successful workers will be those who embrace a lifetime of learning..."

Rupert Murdoch, 2008

Technology, especially computer and IT (information), is making much conventional economic analysis outdated. The conventional analysis is based on the notion of scarcity or value determined by rarity. Technology means that output used by one person does not preclude its use by another.

Remember: people change slower than technology

From now on, technology is expected to have most impact in these 8 areas

i) nano-technology (moving from chemical to atomic manufacturing)

ii) Internet (including the Web, E mail, E business/commerce, ITC, apps, social media, etc)

iii) digitilisation (using mobile phones, big data, etc to break down barriers imposed by time, physical distance and delivery medium)

iv) the human genome project (including biotechnology, such as integration of computers and the body; gene mapping, etc)

v) sustainability development (includes using more renewable resources like water, sun, tidal, wind, etc; more effective use of non-renewable ones; making the "capitalistic system" sustainable; understanding climatic and environmental issues, etc)

vi) bio-mimicry (study of natural forms & systems in design, medicine & engineering, etc)

vii) nano-technology (study & application of extremely small things like individual atoms & molecules)

viii) miniaturisation (eg computers from room-size to desk-top to lap-top to net-book to tablets to mobile phones to watches/glasses, etc)

An example of miniaturisation is smart watches & glass ware as mini-computers. Samsung launched its Galaxy Wear smart watch in September 2013; in the first two months, 800,000 devices were sold. Next was iWatch from Apple; it measures all kinds of health indicators like tracking exercise, easily surpassing what a iPhone does.  While Google has Google Glass (weighing 63 g and projecting a floating 26 inch display as the interface that will be mainly run by voice); end of 2013Waze, it had 20,000 users. There are plans to reduce the Google Glass further to the size of a contact lenses.

Technical tools are becoming more complex and inter-connected, and more central to running an organisation. Thus, one of the biggest challenges of technology is to keep it simple, user-friendly. With new technology there is a need to understand the concept of "high tech/high touch", ie whenever a new technology is introduced, there must be a counterbalancing positive human response or otherwise technology will be rejected by the people.

At the same time, we are suffering from "information overload", a term which describes the gap between the volume of information and its effectiveness. It is suggested that technology will develop new sense-making tools that will help people visualise and simulate. Visualisation techniques will reduce vast and obscure pools of data into easily comprehended images. Simulation systems will become intellectual training wheels for executives, allowing them to experiment with strategies in the forgiving world of cyber space, just as the Gulf War pilots ran practice missions before flying the real thing. As Robert Kriegel et al (1999) states

"in a world changing this fast, you never know when fantasy and reality will meet..."

Remember:

"...Technical innovation requires social acceptance for behavioural change......Early stages of technology development"eg technology remains open to more than one interpretation......at latter stages a social consensus emerges from unmarked social groups on the parameters of technology..."

Patrick Dawson, 2005

Furthermore,

"...our society relies on the power that comes from technology. It is this power that has reshaped the world and continues to do so. It is this power that holds the promise of great benefit - and unprecedented destruction. It is this power that drives wealth creation and the economic incentives for research and development. And it is this power to preserve a status quo that undermines human development in ways that few of us see. No matter how exciting more integral signs might be, little is likely to change until we understand the forces that have led to our dependence on modern technology and the part we all play in maintaining these forces. It is not just the desire for power that drives modern technology. It is a fear that we cannot live without it......modern technology produces the felt need to cultivate our own sources of power. After a while, power through our own technology is all that we know. There is nothing inherently wrong with technology: advances in technology can further our understanding of the nature of the universe as well as enrich our lives.......the dangerous aspect of a growing reliance on modern technology is the way it distracts attention from more fundamental sources of progress. The growing gap between technological power and wisdom arises not from technological progress" but from the way it interacts with more integrative human development......today, we basically define progress by new developments in technology rather than by any broader notion of advancement in well-being. Thus, the ever widening gap between our wisdom and our power is not incidental nor due to bad luck.......The most insidious side-effect of our reliance on a fragmented science and technology is the increasing complexity of our social and environmental challenges......a corporate decision made on one side of the world can literally change lives on the other side..."

Peter Senge et al, 2005

In fact

"...Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic..."

Arthur C. Clarke as quoted by Michael Shermer, 2002

 

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