For centuries, the threat and selective use of brute force has steered the international balance of power. In the last couple decades, the system has increasingly accommodated economic power as a means of non-violent leverage between states. Now, says Singularity University’s Marc Goodman, we must add technology into the mix.
Technological power is not new, of course, but information technology’s exponential pace and declining cost is changing how the global game is played and who the players are. Control of technology is passing from the richest states and governments to smaller groups and individuals, and the results are both inspiring and terrifying.
As Goodman says, “The ability of one to affect many is scaling exponentially—and it’s scaling for good and it’s scaling for evil.”
Of course, Singularity Hub and Singularity University like to focus on the first half of Goodman’s equation; the potential good accelerating technology can and will do. Ordinary individuals and small groups can now build robots, code ingenious apps, send satellites into orbit, and disrupt entire industries in ways that used to take pooled resources of giant corporations or governments.