Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Innovation to what end?

Innovation is the mantra of the moment, but where is it taking us? Is it creating a brighter future or leading us down to a path of self-destruction?

There's no doubt that technological innovations have delivered many of the comforts of modern life. Penicillin, air travel, the Internet, movies on the big screen and much, much more and after all who would want to give any of these up?

Has innovation become hype of the moment? Is it always good for us? Are we falling into the trap of pursuing technological change without considering the consequences?

People are attracted to new technology, and after a lapse of time they get an almost irresistible urge towards its adoption. Cities are then structured around it. So it's a combination of individual choice and commercial pressures where the black arts of advertising and so on say to people this is the only way to go. Sadly the fun image that advertising has traditionally enjoyed is now giving way to a much darker picture of advertising as mental pollution.

Innovation is doing new things or old things in a different way, but what is important is understanding the interdependence between all the different innovations, so the whole results beneficial rather than a dangerous bunch of ideas randomly interacting with each other. The secret in leading technology to where we want it to go is understanding the whole interconnected picture.

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