as information technology advances over the next 100 years, it will push people increasingly into the role of artists, and out of the factories. An evolution of society, not just a speeding up. […] Of course, the trick isn’t just convincing everyone that idleness should still come with a paycheck. The big hitch is managing to survive all the messes we’ve created in the name of global productivity and growth at all costs. There might be a techno-utopia in the out years, but in the meantime we have to learn to weather the postnormal, first. […] One of Kelly’s paragraphs jumps out as perhaps the most challenging for those with the deepest identification with modern business ideology:
"Civilization is not just about saving labor but also about “wasting” labor to make art, to make beautiful things, to “waste” time playing, like sports. Nobody ever suggested that Picasso should spend fewer hours painting per picture in order to boost his wealth or improve the economy. The value he added to the economy could not be optimized for productivity. It’s hard to shoehorn some of the most important things we do in life into the category of “being productive.” Generally any task that can be measured by the metrics of productivity — output per hour — is a task we want automation to do. In short, productivity is for robots. Humans excel at wasting time, experimenting, playing, creating, and exploring. None of these fare well under the scrutiny of productivity. That is why science and art are so hard to fund. But they are also the foundation of long-term growth. Yet our notions of jobs, of work, of the economy don’t include a lot of space for wasting time, experimenting, playing, creating, and exploring."
As Linus Torvalds describes in the prologue to “The Hacker Ethic”, Linus’ Law states that there are 3 powerful motivators to do everything we do: survival, social ties & Entertainment (with capital “E”). The kind that stimulates your brain and drives you to spend long hours trying to explain how everything works. Not because you must, but because you can.
The complexity of cities (a diverse and always changing environment) produces a huge amount of data. The growing availability of tools to generate, capture, store, manage and analyze this data opens up a wide spectrum of possibilities around those big data. The opening up of public data (public transport, traffic flows, water, waste, use of space, business, etc.) offers the possibility of transforming them into far more useful information than just messy and purely statistical aggregation. The result of this in a context of wide spreading of mobile devices helps to understand the social value of creating new apps that use this data to give users greater ability to interact and experience the city from their own needs. Visualization has become a expanding tool in recent years.
“Tea. Earl Grey. Hot,” is the command synonymous for every fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation with one of that show’s most magical technologies: the replicator. Using 25th-century mastery over matter and energy, the Enterprise’s replicators can create virtually any desired object for which it’s programmed, from a replacement engine part to Captain Picard’s beverage of choice.
No need to wait centuries, however. The beginnings of that technology may be making its way into your home within the next five years and sparking an industrial revolution in the process.
New 3D printing and other so-called additive manufacturing technologies are based on methods that industries developed over the past quarter century to rapidly create prototypes of mechanical parts for testing. But as these methods become increasingly sophisticated, demand is rising to use them to manufacture finished products, not only in factories but also at a boutique, one-off level for individuals. Modeling software companies such as Autodesk, 3D-printer makers such as Stratasys and MakerBot Industries, and the enthusiastic make-it-yourselfers who congregate as sites such as Fab@Home have all jumped in to propel that movement. Already, 3D printing has been used to make tools and artworks, custom-fitted prosthetics for amputees, components for aviation and medical instruments, solid medical models of bones and organs based on MRI scans, paper-based photovoltaic cells, and the body panels for a lightweight hybrid automobile.