Monday, November 28, 2011

Humans Versus Technology: Who Wins?

"The most exciting breakthroughs of the 21st century will occur not because of technology but because of an expanding concept of what it means to be human."...Naisbitt and Aburdene in Megatrends 2000 (copyright 1990).

Did we get our concepts expanded?

So, twenty years later, we're seeing the next wave lean back toward technology as techno-wizards map our every behavior to identify our tribal membership and note our other "proclivities" to market items or lifestyles to us (from The Numerati by Stephen Baker). How is our "expanding concept" of humanity doing with that?

Even in health care, which used to be about health and caring, and now is deteriorating into healthcare (new business models, phony quality initiatives and ringing cash registers), we're deluged with new techno-geek strategies to de-humanize all former humans such as patients and physicians.   After all, healthcare has little to do with humans in the newer thinking. It can all be broken down into numbers and made efficient.  Those who are not getting more efficient will have to move out of the system.  And go where?

Those people will be expelled from the government system into socially or spiritually managed health systems, that will be devised by marginalized humans.  These humans will realize that Naisbitt and Aburdene were right about them, but not the vast majority of citizens who were swept up by technology.  The rejected people will be served by rejected physicians, nurses, mental health professionals, social workers, personal trainers, pastoral care professionals and financial advisors in cohesive teams of humans.  How will these inefficient people fare?


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