I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
US diplomat & politician (1735 - 1826)
Let’s assume the mindset John Adams used above is correct, and that we should become experts in the subjects which, by not addressing, affects the next generation the most. What should we choose? John Adams had two examples for what he was studying, politics and war (fitting during the formation of the USA), but today we are not faced with two solutions to one big problem and all we have to do is work in those. For better or worse the internet has destroyed simplicity and we are left with a complex arrangement of options.
Lets looks at some “addressable” problems from today which will impact tomorrow:
- Environmental Imbalances
- Green house gases
- Carbon reduction
- Excessive water consumption (especially in farming luxury produce)
- Global Relations - (we are already seeing what happens with trade wars)
- Century old disputes
- Despotic rule and/or oppressive regimes
- Resource disparity
- Increasing consequences of technological mistakes
- Boundary pushing physics
- Cutting edge power generation
- Incorrectly ordered lines of code in a smart contract
- Autonomous transportations systems
The options continue…
Allow me to pause here and say that this is not a list meant to illicit a scare, or push some agenda. I find that most of the technological pushes are making today are in effort to solve one of these issues. Blockchains alone are already helping in many categories.
The question here is what is next.
The list has grow from ~250 years ago by a lot. Where do you see it going next?
For me I see blockchain providing the continued solution delivery for almost all of the bullets above. All too often one solution is found but the provider cannot scale, or moves on to a new project leaving the old one to fall by the wayside. Where people tire blockchains persevere. The future is what we should be teaching, and not in a ‘they will solve it’ sense, but rather make an effort to be on the edge of something new all the time. Maybe it compliments something you know, maybe it is so far from your normal that you start with a “For Dummies” book. But I would teach that one foot can be firmly planted, but make sure the other is always on the edge of possibility.