9 Reasons Why Tech is Making Our World Better!
In a weird way, I am pretty excited about what the world might look like in the next 10 to 50 years. I think technology is slowly making the world a better place. Yes, I know that people also do some awful things with technology and that it often creates new ways to do evil. That is not technology’s fault though, that is the human condition and unfortunately technology is not the cure for that. I believe the cure for that is found in the pages of the Bible, but that is a different conversation.
Private Space Possibilities: Let me start with SpaceX. This is a private company that designs and manufactures rockets with the aim of revolutionizing space technology, ultimately to achieve the goal of enabling people to live on other planets. Here is why I think this is important: the things that SpaceX is doing on a private level would have once been impossible to fathom. When the movie The Astronaut Farmer came out in 2006, I thought it was a ludicrous premise and wrongly assumed that if we were going to benefit from science and technology with regard to space travel, the government would have to take the lead. I do not know if anyone will ever live on another planet. Though, I am convinced that we are not far off from privatized space travel. While this technology might not seem as tangible as other types of technology, if this is possible on the private level, other possibilities see truly limitless.
The Uber Model: Making money and employment at your convenience by clicking on an app opens up an entirely new set of possibilities. I think other companies will begin to use similar technology. These type of jobs and money making opportunities will be good for our culture because they’re driven by the idea that the more work or effort that you make yourself available for, the more money you make. Unfortunately, we have too many jobs that pay you to lease your time which puts limits on you, so it becomes harder to get ahead if your work situation has a perceived ceiling. I have to believe that money making opportunities at the click of an app will be good for us in the long run.
Competitive Currencies? Now don’t panic. Even if you are not a fan of Bitcoin or see problems with the Bitcoin model, it is basically a privatized currency. In my opinion, that could be a good thing. The opportunity for people to invest in their currency and make money, not to mention providing competition for other legal tenders seems like a plus. I won’t elaborate on this one too much but right now we live in a world where all currency is largely based on government policy and with the exception of our votes, is influenced very little by the individual. If (God forbid) our government currency fails I am convinced that privatized currencies could help provide some stability because there would be a currency that still works (or could).
Social Media: Here is how I think Twitter and things like it could contribute to an amazing world. The other day a phone notification hit my phone and it was a video from my wife Kim. Within seconds I received another notification that someone else had sent out a message through similar means and it was the Prime Minister of Israel. Now, the message to me from the Israeli leader was not directly to me as if that clarity was needed, but here is the interesting thing. I have access to the same means of communication as world leaders. As we all know, President Donald Trump has become the Twitter president. The best way to get a message out is no longer just in the hands of our most powerful. Just like when Gutenberg put the Bible in the hands of the people there has been a shift in power. We have yet to see the full results of this shift back to the people, but this level of empowerment in communication could be a force for good.
Streaming: I grew up in a world with three television channels and the invention of cable expanded that, but even though the networks tried to respond to markets we (to some degree) were at the mercy of what was being broadcasted. Streaming services and broadcast mediums like YouTube can respond literally at the press of a button to find out what people want to watch and when. While the ramifications for this one may be less important than some of the others, when you combine it with many of the others things happening in the world of technology, it just highlights how much the world is changing.
Ride Sharing: Here is South Bend (Indiana), we have a company called Lime Bike. Lime Bike is a bike sharing company. I was amazed at how well this has taken off. Not only are people riding bikes, but they’re sharing them! Here is where I am going with this one: as self-driving cars increase, I think ride sharing companies will get into the car market. I also predict that a larger amount of people will not want the hassle of car ownership if ride-sharing becomes convenient and reliable enough. This could impact how cities are designed. Cities are now designed for cars (highways, interstates, parking lots, and garages). Some of that may not go away, but what if we could redesign our cities around people and community instead of where we are going to put our cars when we get here?
3D Printing: This might be a strange one, but 3D printers are going to provide some interesting opportunities. I suspect there will be a rise in innovation and entrepreneurs for these kinds of technologies. As it becomes easier and easier to make toys, electronics, tools and whatever else a person's imagination can think up, companies will have to get creative about how to compete with their neighbor down the road who can make my picture frame just right. People will also use 3D printer technology to innovate new technologies and sell new products that make people's lives a little easier.
Micro Loans: This one is not technology per say, but what an amazing opportunity to make the world a better place in a real and tangible way for people, often in third world countries, not to mention making money off of it.
A Tutorial Culture: One last thing that I think will contribute to a better world. One feature that I find fascinating about the millennial generation is their willingness to dig in and learn something new. If they want to know how to fix their washing machine, write code, design a website or change their brakes, they can YouTube it. Many are comfortable diving in and figuring things out. Many are even entrepreneurs! That innovative spirit will serve our culture very well as that generation is faced with solving the problems of generations before them.
Now imagine a world in 10, 20, or even 50 years where all of these things have progressed and become more widespread. I think all of these things can provide not only great benefits, but amazing I benefits to our culture. If (and I say this hesitantly), government doesn’t get in the way. The theme for many of these things is self-empowerment. Self-empowerment and personal responsibility are two things that society needs more of. I know the future can bring about concerns and maybe even increase anxiety, but there are people out there trying to give us the ability to take control of our own lives and I encourage you face the future in confidence and make plans to be all that God has called you to be!