1.6.4 Could this increase economic growth? (3:59 length)

INTERVIEWER: I’m thinking of third world countries and what happened around telephone technology. They didn’t lay out land lines. They just went right to the cellular phone. Third World countries are dealing with very challenging issues that have nothing to do with technology. How does the Expandiverse help these countries move ahead in a way that they couldn’t in the 20th century?

DAN ABELOW: What the world is going through is really three kinds of growth.

The kind of growth you are talking about is at the bottom. It really comes through the addition of electricity, water, basic services and then getting connected to part of this digital environment.

That is happening and is happening. For some people it’s too slow. Other people say, “Over the next 10 years, we will add a billion more people to the Internet. It’s happening fast.”

So it really depends on your point of view, but it is happening and as people get connected, the advantages of the Expandiverse will flow to those people.

The second kind of growth is happening in many of the countries you talk about, but it’s a convergence kind of growth. It means that the advanced societies and economies which are roughly 12% to 15% of the world’s population, have achieved a standard of living which today we’ll call X. Other countries are rapidly being able to replicate and adopt many of the things that are known.

So the world is becoming more of a converged place in terms of living standards where the fastest rises are coming in those groups, not in the advanced societies.

The third kind of growth is in the advanced societies and it’s the most difficult. The advanced societies are really facing stagnation, plateauing. I think “plateauing” is a better word than stagnation. They’re facing relative decline compared to the kind of growth that they have experienced in the past.

Even though technology is moving forward economically, those societies are not in general moving ahead. They’re plateauing. Many people are being left out and they are not being able to join, even in those societies.

So the third kind of growth is really, I think, in advanced societies the most difficult. What we need are ways to leap ahead in advanced societies.

If we could leap ahead and raise our level, then once we are there, the rest of the world will catch up, will converge with us. Will converge with what’s new.

Because particularly in an Expandiverse — with things like Active Knowledge, with the kinds of connectivity, the shared spaces — as the world moves ahead everybody immediately gets that knowledge, gets that ability, gets that capability.

So the convergence can happen a lot faster. Everybody in the world, including everybody throughout advanced societies, will move ahead as we are able to have the kinds of systems and processes that the Expandiverse is really designed to produce.

The question of how does this help people grow is really one of how do you look at the whole system of what the world is, and how it works, and how it delivers advances to people, and how it creates new advances.

The whole thing is in there from the top to the bottom. That’s what the Expandiverse is really looking towards.

How do you live in a digital world that can do so much more, so much faster, for so many more people than the physical world can do?