The War of the Worlds — or: How the Internet of Things Will Change Your World

War of the Worlds Radio Broadcast
[Newseum | The Power of Radio: Is Hearing Believing? – edited by Hans-Jürgen Kugler]

Have you heard of the panic caused by Orson Welles’ radio broadcast of the Martian invasion? [audio|bg=0x0000ff|righticon=0xff0000|align=left]

The book “The War of the Worlds” by H. G. Wells was greeted with great interest in 1898, however, neither its publication nor the previous serialization had an impact that was comparable to that of the radio broadcast. Applying new technologies can significantly increase the impact of something, even if this something isn’t new. Something to remember for the new changes about to happen.

In “The War of the Worlds” the older world with higher technology is that of Mars. Humans are on the verge of loosing the battle for Earth. Eventually the terrestrial biosphere defeats the mighty Martians.

We are witnessing the beginning of another “War of the Worlds”, a war of two business worlds. Here the “old world” is that of “traditional industry.” This is the industry which can trace its origin to the industrial revolution. A “new world” of business has appeared on the horizon. One with different paradigms, based on communities and self-organization. These two worlds will be characterized in more detail in the next posts. But what we can clearly see is that worlds have started to “collide” because the Internet of Things will merge the physical world with the virtual world. The question is which will remain the stronger one, if any.  The influencing forces of both worlds engage, but which world will shape the future more — and bend the other one?

As we are observing this “collision” — or will it be a merger? — new technology is being deployed: the Internet of Things. The deployment of this new technology will significantly influence the development of market and society. Will this new technology increase the potential impact forces of the “new world” as dramatically as Orson Welles’ radio adoption increased the impact of H. G. Wells’ story on the public? If that is the case, what chance does the “old world” have? H. G. Wells’ book was just waiting to be adapted to the new technology. Similarly the “new world” is just waiting for, is ready for the Internet of Things. What about the “traditional industry” — is it ready, too? We invite you to continue in the following blog article and to comment below.

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3 Responses to The War of the Worlds — or: How the Internet of Things Will Change Your World

  1. chrishammel says:

    I believe that each new evolution (no matter if it is technological, social, religious, ecological, economical,…) will interact with the previous paradigms and bring up something new which might look different as the “old world” but also look different as the new paradigms driven by new evolutions. It is basically what Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel described in his theory about the continuously changing world which is shaped by such antithetic ideas or paradigms which finally lead to the concept of “thesis”, “antitheses” and “syntheses”. The third one, the “syntheses” will be the new thing which is a kind of mixture or merger of the old concepts and the new ideas. E.g. our social market economy in Germany is such a syntheses from the idea of capitalism and socialism. In such evolutions, usually some basic paradigms from the old concepts remain. E.g. in economics or business there was always the question “How to make money”. Even with such radical new business cases as Open-Source there is still the deliberation of how to earn money with that new paradigm. Decades ago no one would have expected or believed that you can make a very profitable business by offering free products (open source software) or free services (search engine, communication platforms like facebook), but presence shows that it is possible. And new approaches can dramatically change the value of goods or other (even abstract) entities. E.g. with the automobile era the value of mineral oil exploded, before no one would expect that such ugly mud can be of any value. With the computer ear, data and information were increasing in its value. Now with Web3.0 we are talking not only about data and information but also about taxonomy and ontology which gives semantics to data and information which is providing knowledge about the world. And the next level (data -> information -> knowledge) might be wisdom which is the capability to use knowledge in the right way and to make the right decisions.

    • stefferber says:

      Christoph, you did a very interesting extension on our ideas. Maybe we should look out for Philosophers in this 2renaissance. Hans-Jürgen and I identified up to now: Hegel (Change, Learning, Syntheses), Heidegger (Things, Communities), Koestler (Holons, Agents). Probably, there is much more out there, isn’t it?

  2. chrishammel says:

    That´s true, some thoughts of these thinkers was related to the phenomenon if a single “thing” or single “idea” or single “system” interacts or gets connected or even clashes with another thing or system. Basically it is something what we would call an “Ecosystem” nowadays. These single systems can somehow exist independently but then they also interact or get “engrafted” with the other, the bigger system – and then suddenly something totally new can emerge.
    This is the fascinating fact about Ecosystems: the original founder of something would never have thought of developments that suddenly grow out of this system.

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