January 6, 2010
News & Opinion: Sonic Boom
Great timing on this new book by Gregg Easterbrook. His Sonic Boom: Globalization at Mach Speed, is the antithesis to the chaotic past year of economic decline. Easterbrook foretells of the economic upswing being propelled by the intense global connectivity that technology offers. But that's not all. With that upswing comes information overload, and the potential inability to manage the result of this overload; mentally, financially, and culturally. Written in a great story-like style, here's a passage that offers a good look into the focus of the book: "Modern press reports are chock-full of facts, yet often after reading or watching such reports, we feel we know less than when we started. The Internet already offers more words and information than could be found in the Great Library of Alexandria, yet the Internet seems a source of befuddlement rather than enlightenment. Information can drive out knowledge, and there are ever-more-vast amounts of information coming quickly and cheaply. Two principal impacts of the Sonic Boom will be major improvements in the ease of communicating information, coupled to broader access to information at lower cost. It is impossible to oppose the improved exchange of information, and indeed, as technology and globalized economics set free the sort of information once controlled by elites, the next revolution in human equality will be achieved." Compelling, and logical. As we enter more and more of an IT overload, many pros, and cons, will occur, making the world a potentially more productive, yet more complicated place to be and do business. This is the kind of book that will cause many debates and discussions, but despite all the controversy, there's a truth to this stuff that is better to be conscious of.