Leadership and the Environment


323: Steven Kotler: Future Is Faster Than You Think

Ep. 323

One of my goals of this podcast is to bring people with alternative views. I won't deny this motive being mainly selfish. I want to learn and grow from alternative view. I grew up viewing technology and efficiency as better ways for humans to live. I saw them as ways to decrease our impact on nature.

I've changed, as my podcast episodes distinguishing raising efficiency from decreasing total waste, to working on values. Most of the world, especially Silicon Valley, seems to think even more the way I used to. I read Steven Kotler and Peter Diamandas's upcoming book, The Future is Faster Than You Think, wondering what to expect.

It's part of their Exponential Technology series that includes Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think and Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth, and Impact the World. I read them as pro-technology. My goal with guests is to listen and support so I can learn, and I hope you do too.

I'm glad to have spoken with Steven. Before we started recording he told me some of his past interest in the environment. Understanding those views changed how I understood the book, so he repeated it in the conversation you're about to hear.

The book is subtitled How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives. It compiles andexamines basically all the big transformations technology is about to create or is creating---Quantum Computing, AI, Networks, Sensors, Robotics, 3d printing, VR/AR, Blockchain, nanotech, and so on. If you've heard or read about them but haven't researched or reflected enough to digest and see how they'll affect you and us, read Steven's book.

Steven and Peter researched, reflected, and wrote about them all and projected how they will affect us. They talked to the people at the forefront of these technologies and institutions behind them. The book covers far more than a short conversation does, but this conversation covers what the book doesn't: where Steven is coming from.

These things exist and are happening, he points out. We haven't put many technology genies back in the bottle. If you want to know what's coming and what it means, listen and read.

You can probably tell I love learning what Steven's book shares. I'd heard about all these technologies and their exponential rates of change. How they combine and reinforce echoes Geoffrey West's research, but Geoffrey talked high-level theory. Steven talks on-the-ground detail.

Things are happening, better learn them. I don't see them as inevitable. I'd hope the people developing them would consider more the unintended side effects that have plagued technological advances, like the green revolution or, say, how ride sharing has led to the opposite of expectations of lower miles driven or congestion.

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