By: Dr. Ghulam Murtaza Khuhro
What is Sci-tech-human power complex? And, how it is reshaping global society, economics, politics and everything around us? Are Sci-tech-human power complex and STI (science, technology, and innovation) same? No, they are not. Sci-tech-human power complex is much more than STI in many respects.
STI represents one aspect of Sci-tech-human power complex whereas its other aspect is human power (brain power). This latter aspect is being ignored or underestimated by almost all renowned writers, economists, policymakers and analysts around the globe. Not understanding human power aspect of Sci-tech-human power complex in its totality renders all analyses relating to economics, society, politics, and future of global economy defective and dwarfed.
Additionally, science and technology hereinafter referred as sci-tech after a long march of 200 years has also elevated itself to a qualitatively new level. Science and technology before the 1990s used to be mainly enabler, facilitator, and catalyst for growth and development; however, by now it has assumed a new but a dictatorially transformative role.
This new revolutionary aspect of sci-tech is its role as a determinant. This is extremely important to understand. Nobody can afford to ignore or underestimate it if one wants to remain relevant. It simply means that policymakers and sci-tech labs do not determine the future of sci-tech rather sci-tech determines what the path they must follow to survive and remain competitive. It is a historic paradigm shift. Isn’t it?
Fortunately, sci-tech after overcoming all sorts of distortions, hindrances, and roadblocks created by the model of inequality over last 200 years has ultimately elevated and espoused its best of best natural partner i.e. human power (brain power). Now, this partnership and the union have resulted in a new objective force: Sci-tech-human power complex.
Sci-tech could not multiply multi-dimensionally and at higher rates during last 200 years due to lack of availability of it’s most crucial coworker i.e. human power in its desired degree of strength.
Mercifully, during the period of globalization of KRID (knowledge, research, innovation and development) in 1990s and around, sci-tech was able to break the barriers created by model of inequality during the whole history of human civilization but particularly during last 200 years, and was able to activate the potential of relatively dormant force i.e. human power (brain power) and get merged with it.
The merger of sci-tech with human power boosted the multifaceted growth of both components of this new power. It is palpably visible to all defeating all sorts of confusion. It is the only explanation of the exponential growth of sci-tech-human power complex after mid-2000 and particularly after 2010. Global society, economics, politics and human beings across the globe stand more transformed during last 15 years than during almost all years of post-industrial revolution period.
It was the human being across the globe who understood the potential of knife and fire for himself. Chiseled knife and developed methods to burn the fire and control it. Human beings constructed houses, made clothes, developed hunting implements, cutting tools, created a boat, twisted rope and also crafted the wheel- one of the greatest inventions after the discovery of fire. All these technologies were developed without knowing and invoking any scientific laws.
Those societies whose rulers encouraged an environment of innovation produced more technologists and scientists. Islamic golden age, Chinese inventions, and the first industrial revolution have, in general, one thing in common, and that is a conducive environment for such creations and developments.
Unfortunately, industrial revolution created the social forces that distorted its further even growth. An economic model based on inequality kept the absolute majority of human beings out of the arena of innovations and discoveries; they were reduced to learn to survive to live the life. Had the knowledge, learning, research and development been globalized and available to all, human civilization would have been at least 100 years ahead of its present point. Mercifully, that period of unevenness and inequality is getting phased out.
It must be noted that a total number of patents in the UK during 1700 to 1800 stood slightly less than 100. And, interestingly, none of the patent holder was a scientist. The point to be inculcated is that when globalization of KRID, digital technologies, broadband internet, smart gizmos, and software like android, apps and bots and advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and virtual reality are empowering human being on exponential scale across the globe; what will be the impact on the development of science and technology?
The exceptional asset of the human being is his brain. If that asset remains dormant, there is a small difference between human being and an animal having only muscle power. However, if that asset which has the greatest potential is developed with sophisticated tools and technologies that tax it less and boost it most, and is developed globally with least discrimination; what will be the impact on the rate of growth of sci-tech. Here lies the clue for the exponential growth of sci-tech during last 15 years and particularly after 2010.
Science and technology have not only merged with growing human power (brain power) but also they are coevolving and reinforcing each other at the exponential rate and have together given birth to a new phenomenon called sci-tech-human power complex.
More importantly, this sci-tech-human power complex has by now turned out to be a determinant objective force. Now, it determines all changes across the globe and across the whole spectrum of life. Take the example of China. China benefited most from the power of sci-tech during last 35 years but its early development was subject to government decisions and policies. Similarly, those countries that aligned themselves with the power of sci-tech benefited most.
But it must be understood that such supportive governmental actions and policies were required in the early stage of sci-tech-human power complex whereas now sci-tech-human power complex is increasingly acting independently and is dictating policy makers to adopt to it as there is no option left for them.
The exponential scale at which sci-tech-human power complex has grown during last few years makes it convincingly clear that by 2025 it will be enjoying an almost complete monopoly on policymaking and the direction of the development. All sorts of laggard leaders and policy makers will either stand down or will stand perished.