The future has arrived only it’s evenly distributed.
We are each David in a land of once-Goliaths.
An angry man can take down a jet airliner leaving Malaysia. Or kill scores in a nightclub. Or engage in a tweet war with the President of the United States of America.
There’s still hope for nanotechnology to construct everything we need, for 3D printing to distribute everything to anyone. We can start an industry-destroying business on a dime, upend an economy, access the world’s data with a swipe, connect to anyone anywhere anytime.
The giants are right to fear us.
From 1 Samuel, chapter 17:
A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him.
Goliath was a giant, well-armed, well-protected. Spoiler: these did not matter.
Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.
The Israelite army was terrified, but little David, a shepherd, not a soldier, challenged Goliath. He had only God — and his sling. With his sling he launched a rock into the skull of Goliath, killing him instantly.
Like our world.
Faith in God, at least for some, but more clearly in the tools we keep at hand everywhere we go, much like David’s sling.
Will our tweet spark a riot? Will our live video right an injustice? Will an angry public comment bring a swift, cravenly response from a giant corporation?
You speak, and a device connected to at least $1,000,000,000 worth of technology and brainpower responds — just for you.
You may lose your limbs, God forbid, but they can be replaced, and with materials and mechanics that are faster-stronger.
We are on the cusp of technology that will enable us to — literally — control devices with our thoughts.
But you feel so powerless. Why?
Because the powers you possess are not really your own. Rather, the power resides in your tools. Take them away and, much like Samson losing his hair, you become weak, lost, fodder for the angry mob.
You are beholden to your tools. Directed by them. At their mercy?
Fix that. There’s your next disruption. Go.