Technological Revolution, Anyone?


I do a lot of research for my job. I read a lot of business news on sites like Forbes, Inc; market forecasts on BI sites like IBISWorld; and world news on sites like The Guardian. I’ve gotten used to scanning Info like a demon possessed junkie and living off of the high-lights instead of truly digesting the writer’s words.

It’s sad.

Sometimes a subject catches my attention and I lose myself in the article. All reality disappears. I jolt awake ten minutes later and realize I was transported to another world.

It’s unhealthy for my job. But it’s the most exhilarating experience I ever have researching.

It’s been said to stop and smell the roses. Instead, I’ve been stopping and smelling the technological revolution we all should’ve seen coming, but I think we were wholly unprepared for.

While Americans are still trying to sort out their mobile payments and shop online, the majority of the rest of the world is cashless and never had a credit card. The next generation may not even know what physical money looks like. They will take for granted that every purchase or payment they make is recorded. The adoption of the bitcoin will decimate some economies and create stabilities for others, maybe even countries that we view as “developing” or “third world,” such as Nigeria.

The technological revolution will even some playing fields that haven’t been even since the 1700s.

And in this incredibly connected global economy, we are experiencing a level of cultural transfusion that is unprecedented. Technology is not just changing the way we move capital or interpret worth or affect the global economy. Technology is creating a world culture that mirrors fictional realities such as the Star Trek universe.

Connections are no longer enough. Adaptation is the future.

I recently researched WeChat, WhatsApp and LINE. These are all messaging apps that connect users through text, talk, images and video. LINE specializes in offering an insane amount of sticker sending and games. WhatsApp was bought by Facebook for $19 billion dollars, one of the largest tech acquisitions in history. And WeChat is the most popular social media platform in China, where Facebook is banned and email never really caught on.

Each of these apps is starkly different from the others, even though they were all created to do the same thing – connect users. WeChat is now an all-purpose eCommerce platform that allows users to pay for taxis, pizza, doctor’s appointments and more. LINE has created an entire merchandise base including TV shows based on their user-created stickers. And WhatsApp continues to offer no interruptions and no adds, free for life.

Each one is based on a distinct culture.

And each one is striving to be globally adopted.

I’m sure you know what that means at this point. We’re looking at a global culture that seeks to unite individuals through technology, and those individuals are making the decision for unity themselves.

The technological revolution is self-motivated and looks like it will result in the largest nation in history.

WeChat, because we can.


No Worries

Last year at this time I was readying myself to fly across the planet, past the land down under, to a smallish country that many people in the USA don’t even realize exists.  I had all my camera gear and favorite clothes and even my iPad.  I had a plan and a guide book.

I landed in New Zealand.

New Zealand isn’t a ritzy place.  It isn’t glamorous or celebrity obsessed.  It isn’t rushing around or busy.

Its…calm.  Laid back.  Up to date and yet rustic.  They eat fresh fruit and “veges”, milk and cream, meat and bread.  They take great pride in their coffee shops and most of them don’t own coffee makers, but do pour-over coffee instead.  Why do I mention pour-over coffee?  Because it makes only one cup or so.  It takes time to make each cup.  They don’t leave it on a burner like we do here, because they make time to do it fresh.

They keep and wash throw-away plastic plates.  They love to go “tramping” which is really just walking in the wilderness.  It is almost expected that young people tramp and camp from one side of the country to the other before heading off to college or a “real” job.  They don’t crowd celebrities, choosing instead to graciously and quietly host actors such as Tom Cruise, protecting him from the press and paparazzi that followed him from the States.

I loved New Zealand.

The first thing people say, if they have heard of this country, is, “Was it beautiful?” or “It’s so lovely there!”  I agree.  It is lovely there.  But not because of the scenery.  The scenery is fabulous–that was my first view of the ocean.  In the small North Island–about the size of the state of Virginia–you can experience every major wilderness.  Moutains, forests, fields, deserts, beaches–all within a few hours drive.  The pictures I have of the Rotorua Red Woods are…stunning.

Let’s get back to the coffee.  I am a creative person–writer, filmmaker, theater teacher, artist–so it’s expected that I consume a large amount of coffee.  This is what the coffee looks like in NZ:

This year I don’t know all that my autumn and early winter holds, but I will be missing New Zealand, its coffee, its gorgeous culture and its laid back attitude.  Here’s to all those Kiwis (native NZ folks) and their awesome differentness.