Thursday, February 24, 2011

You say you want a revolution

The year of two thousand and eleven is off to an interesting start. First Tunisia and then Egypt with other countries in Africa and the Middle East seeking to force change. A computer impressively won back to back games of Jeopardy and President Obama determined that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. It hasn't even been two months!

It's pretty much impossible to see from the ground floor of a revolution, but I wonder if history will look back on this time as one. The real question though is, what will all this change, revolutionary or not, mean? It's a question that seems to be ignored in large part almost as much as the question of what we want our future to look like.

It's pretty clear the social network and technology we are building has become an important catalyst for change yet it also feels a bit like a loose fire hose that can do damage just as easily as it can prevent it. Figuring out how to operate this new vast machine will likely be the greatest challenge facing our generation.

It seems that we have built or are in the process of building all the tools we need. Now is the time to figure out what it is we want to create. In other posts as I've marveled at the exponential that we are riding and tried to visualize one possible future, but I'm increasingly concerned by the lack of discussion and vision. Without direction I fear that the vacuum will be filled not by those with the best ideas, but rather those with the greatest motivation. Now doesn't seem like the time to be on the sidelines, it might just be time for a revolution.