I had a polite but outspoken exchange with a very well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneur and CEO about his stance on innovation that reflects the values and carte blanche we all-too-easily give its pursuit.
To refresh your memory, I was a software programmer in macro assembler at first, and after thirty years in the business of technology innovation, having started and sold a few startup companies in Silicon Valley was offered to become a (part-time) venture capitalist. So, the exchange with this person stems from a shared appreciation of the pursuit of innovation. Our differences stem from the compass and the outcome of innovation.
Here is my response to the question stated by this entrepreneur as a fact.
No. The length of life of each of us, with 70% of Americans chronically dependent on prescription drugs, is not a positive contributor to the strength of human renewal. Americans now have a declining average age, shorter than the average in other “developed” countries, and are the second most obese globally.
We have created a society in which more than 50% have no more than $500 in their bank account–unable to change the four tires on a car they lease. So, when innovation does not improve the strength of human renewal, it only feeds our solipsism while alive and lulls the evolutionary strengthening of humanity to sleep.
We must develop innovation that improves human adaptability to nature’s entropy, or the youngest major species will live the shortest. That is how nature will put the smackdown on the longevity of any species. We must change the innovation agenda from the pretense and universal oxymoron of sustainability to the strength of renewal, or an accelerated anthropogenic cascade will result.
We need a realistic way to look at the renewal of human existence.