Over the last 40 years the global economy has been given a gigantic boost by technology.
- In the late 1960’s to early 1970’s mainframe computers were brought into large businesses to streamline operations to crunch numbers. Thousands of bookkeepers either lost their jobs or became key punch operators.
- In the late 1980’s the personal computer arrived, which moved the operations onto the desktop. Again thousands of good-paying jobs were lost as efficiencies were created for many fields.
- By the mid 1990’s the Internet came online for businesses. For the last 20 years millions of jobs have been lost due to the “cyberifacation” of whole industries. Retail, media
- In the mid of the naughts, the smartphone became to portal of choice for personal and business communication.
As all of these innovations became ubiquitous, the winners and losers of the technological leap can be found in the unemployment lines.
So here we are in 2017 and we have not seen where the next leap will come from. We are still updating our smartphones with only incremental improvements.
Silicon Valley is betting on virtual reality as the next big thing and perhaps it will enable us to be anywhere we need to be without traveling. But I think VR would be more specialized such as the computer gaming off shoot of the tech leaps we made in the 1990’s.
I believe the European Union’s new discussions of a “living wage” as well as incremental raises in the US minimum wage, both could be a precursor to our next technological leap. Governments are looking to put in a safety net under a new underclass that could be created by the next break through.
Recently, I have written about with some interest on Antarctica. There is much speculation on what has been discovered at the South Pole. Many global leaders including US dignitaries such as Secretary of State John Kerry on Election Day and astronaut Buzz Aldren have made the trek, as well as emissaries from the Vatican and Russian Orthodox church.
I don’t believe this next breakthrough is computer related. It will have a far broader impact on the global economy, which could send the existing global models pertaining to alliances and war on their ear.
For this reason, I believe it will be some time before it is unveiled. But it will come out and take the Earth to the next level.