Thursday’s Big Idea
Today's Big Idea: Connectivity
Increased connectivity allows for the spread of liberal, open values but also poses a number of dangers. It depends whose hands technology is in. Is it being used by Syrian rebels or a Syrian dictator? Is it being used by law enforcement or a drug cartels?
"The cartels that roam Juarez are savvy," note Google's Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen in a Foreign Policy article the two penned together. "Smugglers wear GPS bracelets so they can be tracked — the same blue dots that help smartphone users get from A to B are blipping along in the service of kingpins and their associates."
Now Schmidt and Cohen have announced they are co-authoring a book on the future impact of technology on all aspects of society, a big topic to tackle indeed. We got a special preview of Schmidt and Cohen's ideas this past October at The Nantucket Project, a festival of ideas.
What these two thinkers put on display was a realistic understanding of technology's promise as well as its limitations. "Technology is just a tool," the authors write. "The residents of Juarez told us they desperately want technologies that, when used in the right way by the right people, would make a difference."