Making Government Superfluous: Emerging Disruptive Innovation
Many “futurists” and technology observers often fall for “Gee Whiz!” technologies, which all too suddenly fall into the “so what?” category. Most new consumer electronics fads, for example, tend to follow that pattern. This is an example of a collective “dumbing down” via pseudo-news and pseudo-information.
But other technologies — truly disruptive technologies — work on deeper levels, creating entire new industries, markets, consumer blocs, and even new cultures.
Most futurists fail to look beneath the shallow “gee whiz!” layers of innovation. The slideshare below, for example is a typical mixed bag of gee-whiz! with an occasional important innovation constellation dropped in.
MIT’s 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2015 list below, contains somewhat more profound innovative technology, but still largely misses the mark for deep disruptive transformation.
A startup is betting more than half a billion dollars that it will dazzle you with its approach to creating 3-D imagery.
Availability: 1-3 years
A Caltech scientist creates tiny lattices with enormous potential.
Availability: 3-5 years
A simple wireless technology promises to make driving much safer.
Availability: 1-2 years
Billions of people could get online for the first time thanks to helium balloons that Google will soon send over many places cell towers don’t reach.
Availability: 1-2 years
Fast DNA-sequencing machines are leading to simple blood tests for cancer.
The world’s largest and cheapest reverse-osmosis desalination plant is up and running in Israel.
A clever combination of technologies makes it faster and more secure to buy things with a wave of your phone.
A new method for growing human brain cells could unlock the mysteries of dementia, mental illness, and other neurological disorders.
Advanced genetic tools could help boost crop yields and feed billions more people.
Availability: 10-15 years
Internet of DNA
A global network of millions of genomes could be medicine’s next great advance.
Availability: 1-2 years
.. ___ http://www.technologyreview.com/lists/technologies/2015/
The Forbes list of disruptive companies here will strike many readers as “so last year!”
McKinsey Report Disruptive Technologies
The list imaged above from a McKinsey report (see link for exec. summary and full PDF report) includes destructive “renewable energy technologies” such as big wind and big solar, along with more genuinely innovative and disruptive technologies such as “additive manufacturing,” advanced genomics, and advanced materials (including nano-materials). The inclusion of big wind and big solar on the list is a big black mark against McKinsey, for confusing a “destructive technology” for a “disruptive technology.”
Wikipedia’s list of emerging technologies is more thorough and inclusive, and includes many of the more potentially disruptive innovations likely to come along. It is worth one’s time to browse the several lists at the link above.
At the Al Fin Institute for Emerging Disruptive Innovation, we focus more on innovations that impact basic human needs — as reflected in the crucial infrastructures of society — and on basic human drives and capacities.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was an early psychological attempt to delineate basic human needs. Other attempts to explore human needs include the system of Henry Murray, and the model of Manfred Max-Neef, among many others.
When one sets out to make governments superfluous, he must develop a deep understanding of what motivates humans to achieve, and how productive humans can work together in a harmonious and mutually satisfying, beneficial manner.
Disruptive technologies in themselves — no matter how powerful and effective — cannot substitute for intelligent, competent, and emotionally balanced people who are willing to work together to meet group needs, and to prepare for a range of likely futures.
But given a community of competent, bright, creative, ambitious, and emotionally balanced humans, one can expect a rapid adaptation of disruptive technologies and innovations as they become available.
Modern western governments too often subsidise failure / incompetence and punish success / competence . These counter-productive governmental policies have benefited corrupt politicians and bureaucrats — and their friends — but society at large has suffered. The human future has been retarded by this rot at the centre of most modern governments.
At the Al Fin Institutes, we will be focusing not only on replacing and de-centralising critical infrastructures — we are also working on approaches to make productive and harmonious living more desirable and satisfying. We focus on both the technological and the human infrastructures.
Think ahead with a broad and deep vision. It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood.
Note: In the future we will be looking at specific parts of government that can be replaced, or made superfluous. The creation of “shadow governments,” “shadow infrastructures,” and “shadow economies,” has long been an active goal here at the Institutes.
We will be sharing more of our ideas in the future.
Governments will not disappear because social hierachies are a genetically determined trait in humans. Even the paleolithic foragers had hierachies, although the distribution of wealth (basically food) was uniform.
These new technologies might be disruptive of existing industries and commercial relationships, but the Ruling Class will continue to control the distribution of wealth.
That is why the creation of “shadow government,” “shadow economy,” and “shadow infrastructure,” is important. Something that is called “government” may always exist, but in the future it is likely to be quite different from what we know today.
Consider all the different forms of “government” that exist on the planet today, or that have existed in recorded history. In your mind you may hold the concept of a “prototypical government” which you use as a model. But the instantiations of the model vary wildly.
Examples of “parallel governments” exist wherever clans and tribes are prominent within nations having more conventional governments. Organised crime cartels and clans are good examples of parallel governments, as are warlord fiefdoms which exist within a larger kingdom or nation. In crime-ridden nations such as Russia or Afghanistan, which are the ruling classes? Many other examples exist of governments within governments, economies within economies, etc.
The cyclic formation and dissolution of empires makes a mockery of any idea of fixed ruling classes or fixed governments. The constant disruption of top-level corporations in “capitalist” nations such as the US is another example of rise and decline in an atmosphere of creative destruction and transformation.
Only in trashy despotic and thoroughly criminal nations such as Russia is the established order held relatively constant — until the lid blows off and another revolution takes place. But such revolutions merely involve replacing despots with other despots, and criminal elites with other criminal elites.
When we talk about making governments superfluous, we are referring to the superhuge governments such as most of the US government, the supercriminal governments such as we see in Russia, and the supercorrupt and quasi-ideological governments such as we see in China.
Since nature abhors a vacuum, some forms of organisation will have to replace them. But what is needed is nothing like the concept of “government” which most people have in mind.
Try to keep an open mind as we discard what isn’t necessary, and devise solutions to problems that have hidden so deeply that most people never knew they existed.