Friday, October 21, 2005

Mind the widening technogap

The fast pace of technology development and proliferation simultaneously creates gaps and provides tools for closing them. China and India will presumably industrialize more quickly and efficiently than Europe and the US did. Other quintessential examples are MIT's Open Course Ware project making free courses available online for anyone who wishes to follow them and the leapfrogging of technology generations such as going straight to cellular phone networks rather than copper wire networks in developing world telephony.

The technogap is changing - previously the digital divide meant developed vs. developing world. Now with broadband access, the Internet and globalized trade and culture, the new digital divide is global technophiles vs. technophobes. The technosavvy creative class has transcended nation states, but their brethren are still entrapped by local challenges.

The technophiles are rocketing to success. Now is a blank slate time like the US in the formative 1800s, those with initiative are seeing and acting on opportunities for advancement, while others are being left far behind and will not even know where they are when they awake because so many aspects of the world will have changed so much. Re-inspiring initiative is the most pressing cause du jour, not providing access to technology.