Futurist John Smart, president and founder of the Acceleration Studies Foundation, recalled an insight of economist Simon Kuznets about evolution of technology effects known as the Kuznets curve: “First-generation tech usually causes ‘net negative’ social effects; second-generation ‘net neutral’ effects; by the third generation of tech—once the tech is smart enough, and we’ve got the interface right, and it begins to reinforce the best behaviors—we finally get to ‘net positive’ effects,” he noted. “We’ll be early into conversational interface and agent technologies by 2020, so kids will begin to be seriously intelligently augmented by the internet. There will be many persistent drawbacks however [so the effect at this point will be net neutral]. The biggest problem from a personal-development perspective will be motivating people to work to be more self-actualized, productive, and civic than their parents were. They’ll be more willing than ever to relax and remain distracted by entertainments amid accelerating technical productivity.

“As machine intelligence advances,” Smart explained, “the first response of humans is to offload their intelligence and motivation to the machines. That’s a dehumanizing, first-generation response. Only the later, third-generation educational systems will correct for this.”

From Pew’s Study "Millennials will benefit and suffer due to their hyperconnected lives"

In a survey about the future of the internet, technology experts and stakeholders were fairly evenly split as to whether the younger generation’s always-on connection to people and information will turn out to be a net positive or a net negative by 2020. They said many of the young people growing up hyperconnected to each other and the mobile Web and counting on the internet as their external brain will be nimble, quick-acting multitaskers who will do well in key respects.

The long-form responses to the questions are worth reading and considering. Or if you are particularly nerdy, get your smartest friends together to drink and talk about the survey questions, responses and implications. Tell them to turn off their smartphones.

Already, we are being inundated with stories about the how social media will shape the 2012 campaigns (and how Facebook may, or may not, transform the Presidency itself).  Two facts, however, limit the potential role social media will, ultimately, play in the 2012 election:

1.) Young people are heavy users of social media, but are unlikely to vote.

2.) Older folks are likely to vote, but are much less involved in social media.

Thus, the reality is that social media is best at reaching those least likely votes. In its 2008 post-election analysis, Pew found that while 72% of Americans 18-29 year of age were using the Internet for political activities or information gathering (and 49% used social-networking sites for these purposes), only 22% of Americans 65+ years of age engaged in such activities on the Internet (and a mere 2% did so on social media).

More from PJ Rey at Cyborgology Blog

This video is from a panel at the State of the Net Conference in Washington, D.C. which discussed the Pew study’s findings as they relate to civic participation, technology policy, and new media. The panel consisted of Jerry Berman, founder and chairman of the Center for Democracy and Technology, Andrew Keen (@ajkeen), author and host at TechCrunch.tv, Lee Rainie (@lrainie), director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, and Clay Shirky (@cshirky), technology consultant and author.

Source Alex Howard

I’m getting through the report for a client and it’s full of some fascinating, interesting findings. If you don’t have it in you to read a forty page report, watch the video clip above. 

Pew released some new data on music streaming and downloads.  I compiled a new chart illustrating the findings. Only one-third of Internet users in America have purchased music through the Web. 

Via The Society Page’s “Cyborgology” 

How great is this chart? Marshall Amps are amazing.