Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Five Regions of Technology

Five Regions of the Future: A New Paradigm for Understanding Technology – Joel Barker– find the latest examples of the five paradigms

John Nesbitt coined the term “hightech” which indicated that there was a low tech environment. However, in today's world, there is more then just two levels. We need to become more precise in our descriptions in order to truly understand technology. We live in a special time were there are more solutions than problems and technology is behind most of those solutions.

Five regions were settled on in 1984 and the purpose of the tech determines the placement of the tech in the region. This went from clusters of technology to technological ecosystems or technEcologies that give a view of what the world looks like in each ecosystem. This type of categorizing helps make sense of technologies, better descriptions, and an understanding of how they develop.

Supertech - overabundance, with enough time and money, science and tech can solve anything, given the choice, people would take leisure over work. Bigger is better! We can make it better than Mother Nature.

LimitsTech – Started as a criticism of SupeTech. Scarcity will happen soon so we should be careful of what we do. There are long term consequences to science and technology which need to be thought about before implementing new techs. Efficiency is beautiful. Education is a major goal, as it is the only resource that grows when used.

LocalTech – There is enough in the world for everyone. Humans are shepherds of Mother nature. Work helps us become more fully human. Local development is the best. Use what resources you have in a careful and planned way. Villages are the focus. Everything focuses on the short-range in location –food, resources and supplies.

NatureTech – Oldest in that thousands of years ago, cultures were tuned into the nature around them. However, it is also the newest, as science is helping to understand nature better. Humans are in a partnership with nature. Science role is to understand the solutions nature presents.

HumanTech – underneath the other four – it is located within us. The real needs of humans are not material. Science and technological is only just beginning to understand the nature of humans. To know ourselves is the greatest goal. Genetic manipulation is not needed. It is the base of all other regions and shows how little we know about ourselves.

To conclude, Mr. Barker indicated that as educators, we have a tremendously important job as we help other people understand these new technologies. As a superabundant nation,the US has a responsibility to be a leader in the discussion, as it produces many of the new technologies. Being a democracy, each person also has a responsibility to be involved in this discussion,because decisions will be may anyway, but do we want to live with the consequences?

1 comment:

  1. >> In "Five Regions" Joel Barker and Scott Erickson set up a systematic way of looking at the future, a classification system that simplifies the potential of overwhelming information.

    In addition to the system
    of "TechnEcologies,' they provide numerous examples of the latest developments in these areas.

    And in a very enjoyable format, they give examples in the form of letters and e-mail exchanges "from the future." <<

    See "Backcasting"