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Nanotechnology and Massive Change

Sometimes I get the impression that some folks think that change is only happening this fast in libraries and that it’s not a common condition of all sectors. I suppose naievete is a protective condition that helps make the world a less scary place. If we absorbed all of the change happening around us we’d overload like a circuit board! Of course it’s fine to choose to create an island of calm in our personal lives, it’s not a good option for professionals tasked with running institutions and caring about their ability to thrive..
Batelle Memorial Institute released a report called “Productive Nanosystems: A Technology Roadmap.” (198 page PDF) It’s a complete analysis of this world-changing technology. “Atomically precise technologies (APT) hold the potential to meet many
of the greatest global challenges, bringing revolutions in science, medicine,
energy, and industry. This technology roadmap points the way for
strategic research initiatives to deliver on this promise.” Just the 14 page executive summary is exciting. Anyway, the transformational potential of this one technology to have an impact on more industries than I can count is huge.
Does it dwarf the impact of Web 2.0 stuff on Libraries. Yes. Does it dwarf the impact of Web 2.0 on the rest of the world. Maybe not. Web 3.0 or Information 4.0 probably does. Either way it’s not about the labels it’s about what’s happening and how we react.
Notice anything else changing extremely fast? Try researching:
Stem Cells (from sloughed skin cells now)
Cloning (Glow in the dark cats!?)
Human Genome (a whole country volunteers to create a DNA databank of everyone)
Encyclopedia of Life (all of it!)
Light (backwards, fast, slow, and more with Roumulan cloaking devices)
Global Warming (slow, faster and scary)
Book digitization projects approaching critical mass (like articles did years ago)
World trade and globalization
Electronic games
Cancer research
And so much more excitinng discoveries.
At the turn of this century we are seeing a return of transformational, disruptive change – just like that caused at the turn of the last century when the full impact of changes in mechanization, publishing, electricity, communication, transportation, and more changed society forever.
This will become more clear as we move through 2008. 2007 Was The Year of Social Media. 2008 is the Year of Mobile Media. That’s just the thin edge of the wedge as we try to adapt. Human behaviour trumps nearly everything.

Posted on: December 16, 2007, 8:49 am Category: Uncategorized

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