January 3, 2012

The Pace Of Innovation

I was reading an article on how companies in China are upping their R&D spending, whereas the US companies are cutting on it. May be with the exception of Apple that is. With China growing, it was just a matter of time that they started spending on R&D. But it raises one interesting question along the lines of social development. Is this the outcome we all should strive for?

The occupy wall street protest in US and world over is a protest against the economic divisions. However, I think the fast pace of innovation is one of the reasons for an increase in inequality in recent decade. The few who are at the fore front and well equipped can take advantges of the new technologies, whereas the less privileged ones are left farther and farther behind. Think of the plight of someone who has never been on internet - she wouldn't even understand half the news stories which comprise of who wrote what on which network. Add to it the offers on bookmyshow, groupon etc, which for some reasons aren't available otherwise. Increasingly, the world is getting more and more unfair for the have-nots.

We should all stop for a moment and think about the direction in which we are moving. Is it fine to spend billions on the research of touchscreen technology or other such 'path breaking' ideas when more than half of mankind lives in poverty. When there are greater problems to be solved - both in the field of medical sciences and also towards things like economic housing. I am left wondering about the kind of world we are becoming - apple sells millions of iPad, and not many people actually have a clue what they are buying it for. They all keep buying as if they will be able to connect the dots later.

I'm becoming more and more inclined towards the Chinese model of development - capitalism with some state control. There are obvious issues, but capitalism left to itself may not give the best possible outcome. It lives on the principle of survival of the fittest, and at some point, this becomes a scary thought.

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