Many are afraid that with the automation of technology, not only will we see a larger cultural divide between the haves and have-nots, but economic inequality will become even more pronounced. I have to disagree.
With the advent of the first and second waves of technological innovation in the west, we have seen the cost of connectivity continue to shrink. Connectivity is important as it allows people within its network, to share valuable information and knowledge with each other. Should we have worried about the introduction of Gutenberg’s printing press? Should we have worried about Truman’s Presidential Address in 1947 on the food crisis? Should we have worried about FDR’s “Fireside Chat”? These were all huge feats of communication that shared, the once hoarded, knowledge to vast amounts of people at once. Not only do these advances allow for the sharing of knowledge, but it gives people a larger voice. It is a weapon that levels the playing field between oppressive governments and the poor populace.
Something that is said to be paralleled with poor and stagnant nations is that they do not have adequate access to information, do not have a voice, and are at the mercy of their “omnipotent, supposed omnibenevolent” governments. Leading entrepreneurs are in the process of creating the technological infrastructure throughout these poor countries that will help bring their services to people that need it the most. The third wave of innovation will transform industries making them more cost effective and efficient, for everyone. I’m optimistic! Sure with any advancement, a dual-edged sword will present itself. But, to me, the benefits totally outweigh the costs. With this transformation or cultural imperialism, however we may call it, the “rise of the rest” will soon ensue.
It’s a good time to be alive.