Have you stopped to think that most human institutions are not aligned to most human needs? It should not be surprising when we consider that monetary wealth – the most basic measure of what you can do in this instant – is so unevenly distributed.
Is more technology going to bend this arc? Follow the money for an answer.
The mantra of business is to have the latest and greatest technology. It will bring competitive advantages and such. When resources used to build this technology are finite, who is it that these businesses are competing against?
Many businesses are competing against our children's future. I have posted a quote previously: we do not inherit the Earth, but we borrow it from our children. Our present resource consumption is not sustainable.
A few items to consider:
1. Wealth leads to a faster rate of technology adoption.
2. In some industries, technology displaces human workers.
Resources being depleted exponentially are used to displace an exponentially growing workforce.
1. Many current digital technologies are far from sustainable. Recycling is not an answer.
2. Every technology increases our dependency on it.
3. Some technologies, including smartphones, are deskilling devices.
Unsustainable technologies that must be displaced are partially reducing our ability to displace them.
In a historical context, the commons was a place where a community convenes. With digital technology connecting us across long distances, our commons is now our remaining shared resources. It is this fragile piece that holds us together.
Many of us do not set foot in nature to appreciate our commons. In a vicious circle, advancements to technology keep us from noticing the damage while simultaneously encouraging it.
It should be no wonder that society has disposable industries. Out of sight, out of mind.
No Trust Necessary
We are told that technology will save us. Changing our habits is unnecessary and an alarmist attitude since everything works out in the end. (And, individuals in society with wealth enjoy holding their wealth. Any change had better be profitable.)
Wealth leads to technology where it no longer makes sense. I recently had an exchange with someone who was encouraging others to geotag (take a picture of something with GPS coordinates) loose trash. That's right: do not pick up the trash, pursue it on foot and use technology to track it so, through the magic of AI and Big Data, we can establish trends about litter.
Does it really make sense to create e-waste and use energy to track litter? Exponentially growing people power would say no. However, we have an addiction with technology and will rationalize our romance. In fact, some people believe that the magic of technology means that we will not have to trust each other in the future.
This is one premise of ramming blockchain concepts into every possible application: through technology, human trust can be removed from the equation of human interaction. This is a dangerous deskilling technology.
Businesses adopting blockchain and other decentralized technologies do not understand the value of human trust. Wealth bends the arc further toward unsustainable technology.
Hire a Human, Save a Tree
Along with my co-founder, we launched Shift Sight because we have a very different idea of what the future can look like.
People power is an exponentially growing resource. The commons can once again become a place for community gathering where we work together toward a sustainable future. Although technology enables work across international borders, the path was initiated out of greed: wealth bought labor offshoring.
Ultimately, society needs to move beyond money. Basic income is a first step. Shift Sight wants to do better.
It is a sad statement that we would not recognize a world where people and planet are prioritized over wealth. Wealth inequality is a toxic byproduct of our banking system, and the strain it is causing to both society and environment is only going to increase.
Shift Sight believes in using local labor and hiring those that are underestimated. Providing purposeful work is our best hope for a fulfilled society. A fulfilled society is one with less suffering.
We are presently working toward funding to advance all of our goals. For you, and for your children.
See you next week!
Ty is a Founder of Shift Sight, LLC.