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The Great Fragmentation

BOOK:  THE GREAT FRAGMENTATION
AUTHOR: STEVE SAMMARTINO

I learned how to speed type 30 years ago on my Grandmother's heavy old Royal industrial (manual) typewriter - you know the big heavy ones with the messy black and red ribbons - if you made a mistake, and there was no backspace.

After reading Sammartino's The Great Fragmentation, I realised that during my 40 years on this earth, the Industrial Revolution - where machines were used to do the work of hand tools and steam and power instead of human muscle or animals - is no longer the underpinning driver of our economy. It is becoming obsolete! Page 3 of The Great Fragmentation set the tone for this book, and page 256 sums it up, "Survival is about evolution".

Here in Australia, we survive in business in the most part by operating as if we were in the industrial age. We export the earth's resources to keep our economy buoyant - these are the habits of large and long-standing organisations. But, jsut like my manual typewriter was outdated, so too (I hope) will be the use of fossil fuels and machines that dredge our earth. Sammartino is right in my view "the climate is going through a tectonic shift for the ages where the conditions will never be the same again - at least not in our lifetime". Powerful Technology for the most part offers a clean alternative, and it's a revolution that my grandchildren (born from the Selfish Era) will not question - it will make their lives more "comfortable" and "materialistic". I agree - it's the way it is, and it's the way it will stay - there's no way I would trade my Mac in for that manual Royal typewriter - ever!!!!

Overall, as an entrepreneur and business owner, I was totally absorbed in this book in fact I read it 3 times and each time I was prompted to research more and more about topics such as Big Data, cities and geosubcultures, crowdfunding, social sharing, privacy, commercial access, 3D printing (whoa!), currency and marginalisation AND MOST OF ALL, the 'human' device that replicates us (in fact I actually forgot mine this morning, and yes, I turned the car around to go and get it)! Sammartino describes this device as having 2 eyes: one on the front and one on the back of its head, it understands me and speaks back to me with answers, it thinks with a brain and never forgets anything. It knows where I am, and it interacts with us - in fact page 84 was one of my favourites! When you consider that the worlds largest taxi company (Uber) owns no vehicles, and that the world's most popular media owner (Facebook) creates no content, and that the most valuable retailer (Alibaba) has no inventory, or that the world's largest accommodation provider (Airbnb) owns no real estate, you can see that the new revolution is in play.

Out of all the books that I've recently read on powerful technologies and emerging markets, Sammartino's book was easy to understand yet complex enough to scare me to death. Technology, even for me who relies on it to make money and provide me a wonderful, comfortable and free life, is just getting spookier and spookier. Sammartino nailed the 'web of things' in The Great Fragmentation. There is only so much he could write about in one book, but I enjoyed every facet, and every chapter prompted me to research and delve a little deeper into the pace of change, and the shift of power that is fragmenting each and every one of our lives, to make us 'happy'.

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