Friday, August 1, 2014

Technological Evolution

I personally find the Amazon Fire Phone commercial interesting.  Have a look:



Think for a moment.  If you have a modicum of sociological imagination and you're not ten years old you might've sensed that the target demographic age of what's considered "cutting edge" and "trendsetting" or being up-to-date with the time (which is a covert tactic that works well to sell: "If you have this product, you will not be a social outcast" (implicitly)) has been dropping in the last few decades.  At one time products were targeted to grownups with families.  Then came the 80's when products were targeted to people in their twenties.  

Recently in the past ten years I noticed products targeting teens. I predicted then that eventually they will target preteens, because they will be the most well versed in what is the newest and trendiest.  I was right, the proof is all around us. Kids with gizmos today make Elroy Jetson look like Barney Rubble. Of course the commercial posted here is targeted to fuddy-duddy parents, but it's only because it lets parents know that it's the children who know the best and the newest. 

Is this true?  It actually is.  Kids have evolved and keep evolving.  They will be born in more technologically evolved morphogenetic fields.  The proof is in the pudding, and if you have children you probably know this already.  The future is here, technologically speaking, and things will keep evolving (technologically) exponentially.

Recently an upper-teens kid told me he was made to feel old by a kid who is ten.  This is because the ten year old did not know what a camera was.  The ten year old had no concept that pic-taking devices existed back in the stone age independent of phones.   

As an aside, to be truly cognizant of this evolution, educational systems must also catch up. The old institution modeled after systems of the Industrial Revolution is fast getting outmoded.  Think about it. Today children have all the information that once had to be learned from textbooks and memorized available at their fingertips.  They have a kind of informational-data omniscience now. They can view specific geographical locations, for example, instantaneously.  If they don't know what the capital of Idaho is, voila, the answer is only seconds away.  What should matter to education should no longer be the cramming of data, but something else.  Learning to synthesize thoughts, apply critical thinking, ethics, and enhancing their inherent abilities ... these kinds of things must augment and supplement (and perhaps supplant in places) educational courses at schools, i.e., if by "education" the intent to educate is meant.