Monday, January 30, 2012

Innovative, exceptional. America.

In the Wall Street Journal, Mark P. Mills and Julio M. Ottino have given us an optimistic look at where our country is going. Here’s the condensed version:

we [are] on the cusp of three grand technological transformations with the potential to rival that of the past century. All find their epicenters in America: big data, smart manufacturing and the wireless revolution.

➢ Information technology has entered a big-data era. Processing power and data storage are virtually free.

Smart manufacturing (picture). . . we are just entering an era where the very fabrication of physical things is revolutionized by emerging materials science.

➢ Finally, there is the unfolding communications revolution where soon most humans on the planet will be connected wirelessly. Never before have a billion people . . .been able to communicate, socialize and trade in real time.

. . .consider three features that most define America, and that are essential for unleashing the promises of technological change: our youthful demographics, dynamic culture and diverse educational system.

demographics. By 2020, America will be younger than both China and the euro zone, if the latter still exists. Youth brings . . . the ineluctable energy that propels everything.

➢ [Our c]ulture . . . is . . .high inertia. . . distinguished by . . . open-mindedness, risk-taking, hard work, playfulness, and, critical for nascent new ideas, a healthy dose of anti-establishment thinking.

➢ American higher education[‘s] most salient features are flexibility and diversity of educational philosophies, curricula and the professoriate. . . a dizzying range of approaches . . . Good. One size definitely does not fit all.

to help usher in this new era of entrepreneurial growth [we need l]iquid financial markets, sensible tax and immigration policy, and balanced regulations . . . But the essential fuel is innovation.

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