Convergence and The Story of The Flying Car 

 April 16, 2020

In the past 4 years I have visited Los Angeles often to see my son and daughter in law.  The defining characteristic of LA, beyond Hollywood, is traffic.  Programmed into each person living there is a calculation of how traffic will impact their day.

The big idea of this article is that exponential technological change is arriving in this new decade and we need prepare for it. In the recently released book, The Future is Faster Than You Think, best-selling authors and entrepreneurs, Steven Kotler and Peter Diamandis, make the case for multiple technologies are converging and scaling simultaneously, which will lead to a never seen before pace of change.

The research is excellent and here is the headline grabber…they along with some of the best minds in the world believe we will experience 100 years of change in the next decade.  Technologist Ray Kurzweil put it this way, “we are going to experience 20,000 years of change over the next 100 years.” This means we could go from birth of agriculture to the birth of the internet twice in the 21st century.

Back to LA traffic, Uber has already designed, validated and is beginning testing this year on aerial ridesharing with a goal of running the service in Dallas and LA in 2023.  Uber has partnered with NASA and the FAA to work out the air-traffic management system to make it work.  Uber’s vision is to make it economically irrational to own a car.  Plans are by 2030 autonomous, aerial ride sharing will be mainstream in every urban market in the U.S.

How is this possible? The simultaneous scaling and convergence of multiple technologies.  Moore’s Law was developed in the 1960’s and says the speed and capability of computers should double every two years and cost less.  By 2023 the average $1,000 laptop computer will have the same computer power as the human brain.  Our new computers are designing ever faster computers, and this creates a positive feedback loop that Kurzweil calls the “Law of Accelerating Returns.”

This level of technological change will disrupt products, services, markets and the structures that support them, and obviously, this will disrupt our lives.  How can we prepare for this?

First understand your brain is built for linear thinking.  This means sequential and slow.  We’ve also lived and functioned primarily locally.  The technological change coming is creating a world that is global and exponential.  We are seeing this with the Pandemic.  Global travel and greater integration of societies has facilitated an exponential and global enemy.  Our brains simply haven’t had to function at this level of speed.  You should also know that the more you think about yourself in the future more your medial prefrontal cortex deactivates and the more of a stranger you become.  This built-in feature of neurobiology makes us poor at anticipating future change.

Over the next year this weekly blog will feature content, if applied, that will enhance your ability to live successfully through rapid change.  The content is part of a new book I plan to publish late this year on Decoding Human Performance, the Science of Reaching Your Potential. 

I hope you continue this journey with me as we explore researched topics that will optimize your brain, nervous system, physical health, psychology and give you the ability to operate in flow states of consciousness.

Exponential change of the magnitude coming calls for a different approach to performance.  A shift from addition to multiplication, from tweaking a productivity tool or time management technique to operating completely differently.

I’ve been on this journey myself the past two years and my plan is to share everything I’ve learned from a lot of very smart people.  So, as we experience the exponentiality of a Pandemic and ponder going from driving our own car to flying autonomous cars, lets learn together and prepare to adapt for the new world.

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Diamandis, P. H., & Kotler, S. (2012). Abundance: The future is better than you think. New York: Free Press.