Flash Jobs

Adaptive Action Option PhotosWith the economy in turmoil and no creditable analysis on where we go from here, a drastic shift might be right around the corner.  One might ask is this current economic dilemma based on lack of jobs, uncontrolled debts, or on goods and services being provided within global competitiveness.  Regardless of these or any other reasoning’s, there is a historic shift happening within the world economy that is affecting all of us from first to third world countries.   What we do know is that products are coming to market more rapidly than ever before and being produced by more global entities than in the past.  The root of this phenomenon could be associated with the increase in distribution of information.  The information age has been discussed much and there seems to be an agreement on the fact that we are in it, but how this information age is going to play out with our modern society is still a guessing game with economist and politicians alike.

There is a general consensus that we need to have standards and commonality for us to share information more readily.  However at the same time we find that information standards also can lead to limits on expression and innovation.  We are finding that diversity is critical to moving forward in this world composite of human knowledge and at the same time sharing innovations requires us to have some understanding of each other’s ideas and how linkages of ideas can form new ideas.  This diversity gives us rapid change and also is one of the reasons we have recently seen more polarization in our modern society as new ideas tend to replace traditional ones and for some cultures (industrial, religious, political, etc) this is declaring war on traditions and altering ways of life (comfort zones) for many of the structured and controlled cultures.   One might even conjecture that these rapid changes and sharing of information could be associated indirectly as the protagonist for terrorism and/or with global companies and organizations that lean towards monopolistic tendencies whose goal is to have customers follow only one ideal, product or philosophy.

Humans within the last century have learned that there is a balance in physics between random and coherency (equal areas under both of these curves) and this steady state in nature is a critical aspect of the universe we live in.  When there is an imbalance, nature seems to take the role of self-organizer and will correct this imbalance in several ways that on the surface to us humans with our limited knowledge doesn’t necessarily make sense, but over time and with discovered linkages we didn’t envision nor completely understand at the time, we find that the imbalance will correct itself.  In many cases the pendulum will swing even past center before it comes back towards center.  As humans we endeavor to calculate absolute solutions however we never truly experience the center as the environment is constantly moving and depending on where you are with regard to this constant movement, will depend on what side of the pendulum you are on.  Center or the statistical means is the elusive goal of nature but steady state is very deceiving as it will take complete or profound knowledge to truly understand it.

This is an important reason for this writing because proposing profound knowledge as elusive; it still is the desired end state we strive towards.  This leads us to discuss how we then see the future of mankind as we go forward with our perceived human limitations and limited resources.  But the real question we should be asking ourselves is… are we only really being limited by our lack of innovation within this balanced environment.  We currently see an indisputable trend in specialty products production that can turn niche markets into commodities almost in the blink of the eye in this information age, mostly due to quick reconfiguration of processes;  sharing of knowledge of the current products and customer trends and desires.  This paper is suggesting that the next step in specialty products will be customizable solutions that can be built for specific purposes or for specific customers without having to have formalized institutions as governing bodies over the production of these specialty products.  This trend will start in virtual time and space first as intellectual properties is the first and foundational piece for innovation proliferation.   The critical factor for this new direction is already being put in place with our collaboration efforts within social media at the center. 

Crowd sourcing with collaboration equals self-organization.  Today, we are seeing crowd sourcing becoming very popular and with tools already available for collaboration, we find a combination that can be the geniuses for building one of a kind solution(s) that feeds the envisioned end states of human desires.  Standards have been principle guideposts for industrial manufacturing and have given humanity interoperable product solutions as long as the standards were being met.  This continues today in the information age however, standards are also being used to channel and build whole components of systems as we find which standards win out in the end (best of breed examples). 

We all know of the division between PC and Apple standards where PC actually became more open when IBM stopped being the exclusive builder of them however Apple gained on performance because they were not open.  For those that like the Apple computers because the performance is more synchronized we have a customized approach from the manufacture for the user, whereas in PCs we see the opposite where customization is more from the user side than the manufacture.  Modifications to an Apple system is not an easy task as the system is already wired tightly together unless you adhere to Apples hard standards.  Because PC’s are more open to component innovation, they don’t all possess the same capabilities and standards but for customization they have more room to change components for a user’s preference.  Both sides of this development path have merit.

When we find that standards no longer need be taken into consideration at the command level of coding as we see now with natural language algorithms, the future of virtual applications can be done within many standards as the computer code becomes the human words directly.  When humans understand words from any language, they gain understanding and can collaborate upon this understanding.  Therefore, if we extend this capability to computers we can see a dynamic change in the information age.  This opens the future up to new innovation within the virtual environment that will lead to highly customized applications being built by individuals, not necessarily formal institutional companies. 

If we carry this forward from virtual to non-virtual worlds we can start to see what the potential is for human interactions.  What has began as social networks can easily become networks of solution building focused on what the social network agrees is the end state desired.  This building of a solution around what we call “intent” will be the next stage of the information age and will become more powerful than influential people, companies, governments, etc in the world today.  For example look what the Arab Spring has brought us so far from social networks; a push to democracy without large influences by world governments or wealthy and powerful people.  Social networks could be the beginning of new trends for spawning new instant businesses that could be here today and gone tomorrow dethroned by other instant start up solutions.  The fact that we don’t have to invest in capital and shouldn’t as physical capital forces a commitment (indebtedness) that needs to be defended and guarded against competition;  we will create a new approach to future industries.

The industries that will develop as the information age matures will be more aligned to functions than to specific products.  This will allow these industries to enter any solutions that requires their products i.e. raw material; processing and upgrading materials; designing products; assembling products based on one of a kind designs, etc.  This would then cause building hubs around functions that show natural clustering which is when we find several nodes connecting for solutions.  This natural connection within the nodes is what we see in other nodes within our universe and become a means to self-organize as the clusters form.  This will be a new and different approach that will make efficiency of scale less a factor of necessity for products economic value and allows the network to become the new platform for product design, production, and distribution.

This phenomenon isn’t much dissimilar to how the towns in the United States were formed when the railroads push westward.  Every twenty miles the trains needed to take on water for the steam engine and wood or coal to burn.  These twenty mile dots across the west were the location of small towns.  Some of these towns then began to grow as more support for the people of the town to support the railroad came to live.  As these towns started forming, and more people traveled west to settle, they found already infrastructure in place along these twenty mile spans.  The clustering began to build some of these towns as hubs, most likely because of other functions were also being incorporated, i.e. mail service or hardware stores to support local ranchers or miners who scatter the western landscape.  Clustering is expected and it still is something that we who want network solutions should be aware of.  Clustering is the beginning of self-organization.

We have learned in modern physics that clustering in free scale networks usually connect about 80% of the nodes.  This natural phenomenon is a pattern that we can now look for in future solutions to self-organize.  Humans continue to distinguish our talents by specialization and in the past this improved our benefit to our employers but at the same time specialization limits our future market value within our closed or smaller networks of influence, i.e. location to job markets and industry experience within changing industry positions within market trends. This then will limit our value and our influence as we are not known for our specialty outside of our current industrial network.  However as we are finding out; with globalization the world has opened a broader areas of possibilities.  We no longer have to be located in the same town to collaborate on work.  Soon that will even include directing manufacturing by computers running machines on the factory floors.

This trend will open up the possibility for expertise to be incorporated in many projects or production models without having permanent staffs hired within a corporation.  We already have contractor staff members in many of our industries and government but this will be a more efficient way to incorporate talent and will bring in precisely the right experts needed to do the jobs.  Thus we will get better solutions and more tailored results to meet market demands.  This will also change the way companies advertise; they will no longer try to sell what they make but make exactly what the customers’ want or need at the time of the requirement is known.  This will stop a lot of impulse buying and should improve quality of life products as they will be the most sought after for building middle class citizens.  Yes, I am saying middle class because as we continue globalization the pressure to have equaled distribution of quality of life will be demanded by all societies (developing and developed).

For now; I leave to your imagination how to set this future Flash Jobs scenario up.  It will come regardless of who does it first; but don’t be surprised that being first in this endeavor will be much different than market leaders are today because there is only a small fraction of capital to set some of this up.  As we begin to pull expertise into the network, it can shift rather rapidly with little investment.  The framework for this effort is where we should focus not the end products.  This framework will require governance and standards as the world continues to globalize.  This is where we will run into major issues between governments who rather maintain their sovereignty at the expense of not joining the global market.  We already know what tariffs and other government induced controls do; it could get pretty ugly.     

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