Tim O'Reilly on The Endarkment

Tim O’Reilly is a very smart guy, and even though he is a dyed-in-the-wool technophile, he hasn’t let that blind him:

Tim O’Reilly, The Rise Of Anti-Intellectualism And The End Of Progress

For so many in the techno-elite, even those who don’t entirely subscribe to the unlimited optimism of the Singularity, the notion of perpetual progress and economic growth is somehow taken for granted. As a former classicist turned technologist, I’ve always lived with the shadow of the fall of Rome, the failure of its intellectual culture, and the stasis that gripped the Western world for the better part of a thousand years. What I fear most is that we will lack the will and the foresight to face the world’s problems squarely, but will instead retreat from them into superstition and ignorance.

[…]

Yes, we may find technological solutions that propel us into a new golden age of robots, collective intelligence, and an economy built around “the creative class.” But it’s at least as probable that as we fail to find those solutions quickly enough, the world falls into apathy, disbelief in science and progress, and after a melancholy decline, a new dark age.

Civilizations do fail. We have never yet seen one that hasn’t. The difference is that the torch of progress has in the past always passed to another region of the world. But we’ve now, for the first time, got a single global civilization. If it fails, we all fail together. 

Yes, we’ve become entangled, and our fate will be shared. To avoid the endarkment will require a great deal of hard work, and the hardest part might be the necessary first step: realizing that we are at a pivotal moment, and that just about everything must change.

What is Gov 2.0? (A webcast presented by Tim O’Reilly)

Tim O’Reilly recently hosted a one-hour webcast that took an in-depth look at Gov 2.0 — what it is, where the opportunities lie, and how you can get involved.

Topics included government efficiency and transparency, government as a platform, and how technologists can play key roles in this important transformation.

Many of the same topics will also be explored at the upcoming Gov 2.0 Expo, and you can read Tim’s thoughts on open government at O’Reilly Labs: http://opengovernment.labs.oreilly.com/

Last week industry thought leader Tim O’Reilly, the man widely credited with popularizing the term Web 2.0, gave an opening keynote talk about the Internet of Things at his organization’s MYSQL conference. Some readers here might assume that a MYSQL talk is too technical for them, but this was a speech that anyone could appreciate. The link leads to two videos. The first is a great 5 minute explanation of the Internet of Things from IBM. The next is O’Reilly’s 36 minute keynote. We highly recommend you check both out for a great picture of where the future is headed.