January 04, 2010

"The iPhone and IED rule the Age of Asymmetry"

Mobile phone in Iran

For years I've disliked the notion that the world is flat; it's often just been another one of those generalisations that make keynote speeches and newspaper articles punchy but which, in the cold light of day, clearly doesn't stand up. Andrew Sullivan came up with another term, which carries much more meaning, in his superb Sunday Times piece on how exactly the world may have flattened in some areas, and what it actually led to over the past, bloody decade:

The forces of order simply could not keep up with the alternately empowering and terrifying new modes of communication and technology. This new flat world made Al-Qaeda possible, but it also made Iran’s green revolution viable. It made the iPod ubiquitous but also the IED. It made global security like Microsoft, constantly fending off viruses; and it made insurgency like a million iPhone apps — nimbler, faster, more inventive and more lethal. It made self-defence as much about self-restraint as shock and awe, as much about the silent, incremental avoidance of catastrophe as any victory on a battlefield.

Andrew Sullivan in the Sunday Times

Jeremy Clarkson in the same 'paper shows his admiration for how far we've come, even if he feels the march of progress is lost in a digital puddle. In the next decade I hope that technology continues to take us further and in directions we didn't even know we wanted life taken in. It's exhilarating, entertaining, informative, helpful for making us do more, quicker, and satisfies, no, indulges our needs as social animals.

Technology is for life what Peavey was for rock and roll: the ultimate amplifier.

Picture from Hapal


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Best line from Clarkson's piece, and a warning for us all; "I lead a pretty interesting life and at the end of a week when I’ve driven across, let’s say, Bolivia, I could just about rustle up one 20-second anecdote. All the rest is noise."

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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