Maybe it will turn into a great new Age of Discovery – Insight from Tom Freidman, Ian Goldin & Chris Kutarna


Age of DiscoveryIt is so very hard to keep up, isn’t it? I am so far behind in my stack of books to read. But, there are only so many hours in the day – so many books, so little time.

This week, Tom Friedman had a column recommending another new book. The book is Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance by Ian Goldin and Chris Kutarna. Mr. Friedman wrote about this book in his column Another Age of Discovery.

His column, and apparently the book, write of the possibility that we are in one great big moment of change. (In case you hadn’t noticed yet…). Here’s a key paragraph (from an email to Mr. Friedman from the author):

“Gutenberg’s printing press provided the trigger,” Goldin told me by email, “by flipping knowledge production and exchange from tight scarcity to radical abundance. Before that, the Catholic Churches monopolized knowledge, with their handwritten Latin manuscripts locked up in monasteries. The Gutenberg press democratized information, and provided the incentive to be literate. Within 50 years, not only had scribes lost their jobs, but the Catholic Church’s millennia-old monopoly of power had been torn apart as the printing of Martin Luther’s sermons ignited a century of religious wars.”

And he ended his column with this paragraph:

Then, as now, walls stopped working. “Cannons and gunpowder came to Europe that could penetrate or go over walls and books could bring ideas around them,” he said. Then, like now, walls only made you poorer, dumber and more insecure.

Here’s my brief thought: I drive by a mall that I used to shop at; it’s about to be torn down. Television; advertising, newspapers, and so much more, are all being disrupted. And so, too, are countries.

Here’s a question prompted by Ruth Davidson, a Scottish politician about the Brexit vote (from this Business Insider article):

Should we vent our rage at the institutions we are dissatisfied with by replacing them with some unspecified, nationalism-inflected replacement?

Change and uncertainty are all around us. And, people don’t quite know how to think in this uncertain and volatile climate. (Think VUCA).

But, maybe, it is not a bad age; maybe it will turn into a great new age of discovery, with new wonders right around the orner.

We can hope!

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