The Art of Looking Into The Future: The Five Principles of Technological Innovation by R.S. Amblee is an ambitious agenda which seeks to probe into the future by analyzing driving forces, globalization, automation, technological evolution, recessions and bottlenecks. A driving force means that nothing moves without it; such as energy. Globalization demands a continuous search for better skills, material, cheaper labor and larger markets.
Automation makes labor easier and operations safer. Technological evolution moves the state of scientific art for consumers to a higher and higher level. Recessions and bottlenecks thwart progress toward expanding goods and services to consumers.
China is a classic example of increments in technological evolution, as well as bottlenecks. China has become a haven for new manufacturing. Despite the increments in economic growth and savings, an uneven progress remains in the inland areas.
Historically, the coastal areas of China have advanced economically, yet the advances in the inland areas of China have lagged behind. Huge earthquakes and floods are another historical limiting factor.
The Ural Mountains is another classic dividing line between Russians in the West and the people of the Tatar regions, Mongolia and the East. Modernization has been more easily achievable in places like Moscow; whereas, technological progress has been more difficult to achieve in the East. Mountainous barriers, time zone differences, severe weather, language and cultural differences make uniform progress for the East and West more difficult to achieve.
R.S. Amblee shows how automation has caused or precipitated job losses. There are ways to cushion these job losses with infrastructure spending for roads, rails, bridges, tunnels, major highways, dams and ongoing engineering maintenance activities. In addition, governments may initiate financial stimulus packages, tax cuts, unemployment extensions and other steps to provide a safety net.
There is much discussion about online diagnoses for illnesses. This discussion is aimed at facilitating and standardizing health care delivery. Yet, the need to do a physical examination of a patient remains for such things as paleness, tongue discoloration, bone structure, gait and other characteristics to supplement the standard fluids testing. There is some discussion on eating better food.
More needs to be done to mitigate the impact of junk food on overall health and cost containment. Angiography, dialysis and hip replacements have been on the rise for decades in America. More effective preventive strategies and treatments are needed to promote wellness and reduce chronic pain.
R.S. Amblee indicates that every economic recession takes society closer to extinction. While this statement may be excessively pessimistic, recessions can be mitigated with superior audit controls in the financial industry and better management of bubbles; such as, the real estate bubbles and others. Amblee discusses the need for an artificial biosphere to grow crops with recycled water. While this is a possible solution, there are others. Potential candidates include solar energy de-salination plants in places like Africa.
The Art of Looking Into The Future has taken the conversation on the future to a higher level. Although some of these discussions are known, the presentation provides a considerable graphical analysis of key trends, as well as a plethora of solutions to seemingly very difficult problems. Only the future will divulge the ultimate level of humankind’s progress over the next decades. The advent of nine billion people on this planet will hasten the need for timely solutions, as well as the people to craft them.