For over a million years we lived as hunter-gatherers in small family groups, for thousands of years we lived as farmers in small villages, for 200 years we lived in cities and built industry. Now we live globally in a world that is changing faster every day than ever before through new ideas and technologies.
Sickness and mortality? Scarcity of material goods? Humans as the most intelligent beings? How very 20th century!
Our history has not prepared us for these changes, Our cultures, ideologies and religions provide no answers to many of the new questions we are faced with. Trying to impose old world views or ways of doing things on a new world is a recipe for failure, whether you are a company, government or individual.
For businesses the challenge will be to provide valuable products in a world where many things that were expensive in the recent past have quickly become very cheap or essentially free. Governments will struggle to remain relevant in a world that moves much faster than they can and where geographical location is becoming less and less important for the individual citizens' identity, income and social network.
On the second day of HAR2009 a copyright debate was held between the entertainment industry and the hacker community at HAR2009 in the Netherlands. Tim Kuijk very bravely represented the views of the entertainment industry while Walter van Holst and myself put forth a range of contrarian views and Prof.dr Wilfred Dolfsma moderated us and a full Monty Hall of hackers. Because of some slight historic animosity between hackers and the entertainment industry we made a real effort to keep everything civilised. Since no tomatoes were see flying or Godwin's law invocations were required I think we succeeded. I've stated my personal views on copyright in the 21st century on various occasions on this blog.
Had fun doing talk this afternoon at HAR2009. While I was taking a nap afterward someone wrote a very nice review on the HAR wiki.
To spice things up a bit I added a new aspect about areas of public sector IT that should be under ultimate control by public sector organisations. I'm still refining these ideas but this is the gist of it: