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Technology Disrupts

Recently, I read an interesting blog from an outfit called Habit Tech. They train individuals to be successful personal coaches using both traditional methods and technology. The premise of the blog was that technology disrupts industries and businesses forcing them to either adapt or fail.

It was a fascinating article and centered around the impact/disruption that technology has had on a specific industry: medicine.

For example, several studies show that millennials prefer doing virtual or electronic visits than the traditional go into the office and do a face to face with a doctor. Hospitals and insurance companies are pushing patients to do more “portal” electronic visits than in-house.

The marketplace now has dozens of devices that can do your vitals (blood pressure, temperature, oxygen intake, heart rate, and so on) and then download the information to your doctor’s workplace.

Surgeries that once required large incisions now are done with small incisions and tiny, less invasive surgical tools. Robots are assisting surgeons with complicated procedures, replacing the once-needed second surgeon in the operating room.

Technology has dramatically impacted my own industry, book publishing, over the last twenty years. When I wrote my first novel, Star Scout Rising, e-books were a tiny “niche” market. I tried to get a mainstream publisher for that novel,but no takers, and ended up with a small publisher in Alaska. I think we sold twenty books total, which I once figured out had me making less than a dollar an hour for the time I put into the effort. Oh well.

Since then of course, e-books sell far, far, more copies than traditional soft or hard copy and audible books are becoming ever more popular. Technology has undoubtedlyturned publishing on its head.

Has it been a good thing? I think so, at least for me as I now have fourteen books out there and am getting close to publishing number fifteen. Truth is, if not for e-books, I seriously doubt if I could lay claim to being a “published author.”

However, my view is that technology can be the proverbial two-edged sword. For example, the same technology that allows my sweetheart and I to talk to and Skype or FaceTime with children and grandchildren hundreds and thousands of miles away is the same technology that leads to addictive pornography.

The same technology that gives me the opportunity to post blogs on Facebook is the same technology that’s used by electronic bullies to savage young people to the extent that they commit suicide.

The technology that gives us the ability to shoot down incoming missiles is the same technology that improves a nation’s ability to launch ever more sophisticated and destructive weapons.

Technology can be wonderfuland marvelous, it’s just too bad that we always seem to find ways to use it in its most evil forms instead of for the betterment of our lives.

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