What are smart cities for?
These advanced cities of the future are key to guiding the world to a new world order. We need sustainability, we need innovation, and most of all we need unity. The point of a “Smart City” is to create an interconnected ecosystem, and orientate those moving parts towards a common goal.
With the rise of the Internet of Things, 5G, Blockchain, ride (and home) sharing, and many more areas. There is this industrial revolution happening in technology.
The future of the world is dependent on our global acceptance of smart cities as a whole.
No matter what people may think, there is a global shift happening right now. Technology is rapidly changing, and our people are not keeping up. Not only are the majority of the population behind on understanding changes in technology, many are actively against it.
The sad part is that the naivete of this is not needed, for with a little bit of education on various subjects in this space. There would be an enlightened understanding of WHY we need Smart Cities.
The motivational factor is the progression of the human species.
It is more than anyone of us, you or I, or the person next to you.
Just a few examples of problems: Global warming, poverty, economic inequality, border division, famine, drought, and currently a pandemic.
The Power of the Internet
We can fix these problems right now, and we should while we still can. Many people believe it is too late for things like global warming, maybe it is, however we can at least try to mitigate the consequences. It is like skipping exercise all your life, and when you’re old your body is run down. Although it is never too late to start, it would have been better if we done it sooner.
The sheer level of interconnectivity we have as a planet, of which is only going to get stronger. Truly the internet is basically a child, and has yet to really grow up yet and mature. With web 1.0 and web 2.0 the internet was akin to a baby and a toddler. Now we are surpassing those stages, social networks are maturing, marketers are finding their ground, creators are more common, etc. The internet is evolving, and with it so are we as a species. This is fantastic because it means we have room to grow, and more importantly a foundation to grow off of (the internet). To say the internet IS the World Wide Web is actually false, for it has surpassed the web. We use it in far more advanced ways, such as drone manipulation, remote work, and much more. It is more like a world wide network of webs and hubs!
This network is a interconnected system on an international (macro) scale, as well as local (micro) scale. Meaning the usefulness is uncharted, and with the rise of Internet of Things devices; There is an unprecedented level of complexity coming ahead of us, but at the same time it will connect the world unlike ever before. The time when your fridge is smart and connects to the internet, with tools like “Hey your milk is about to expire, would you like to order a new one?”. It is going to make our lives tremendously easier.
Big Data and Small Data
The Social Norms
Of course we cannot talk about Smart Cities without mentioning Blockchain. The technology behind cryptocurrency, and platforms like Steemi.io!Let’s dive into the idea: A blockchain is a series of block ledgers, which act like unhackable* stamps. Now that is an extremely simplified explanation, and I am not an expert, but you get the idea.
When these blocks get recorded they get sent to everyone on the blockchain (where the chain essentially comes from). It is like a train or chain of blocks that get sent out. Since they are decentralized, they get sent out to everyone at once, which allows for pure copies to each node. If someone tries to tamper with a block, it will not match the others on the blockchain, thereby being disregarded.
Many people see this technology and think oh how can that be useful, or it is just a fad, etc. However this couldn’t be further from the truth, and not only that but this tech will change how we operate our daily lives. The only analogy that can be made is akin to the internet in the late nineties, or perhaps the printing press.
The changes that Blockchain as a decentralized technology will make, will surpass everything that has come thus far. It will usher in a new age of the internet, and be the foundation of what Smart Cities can do.-Dustin Miller, PolyInnovator
Divergent Decentralized Social Platforms
Let’s first start with the social aspect because nothing can change unless the people themselves change first. We are the head start for the rest of humanity. This blog itself is ahead of it’s time, and you by default for being here are as well.
That may sound a little pompous, but it is true you are ahead of your time. This being said we must make sure our actions follow suit of this statement.
There are new platforms cropping up left and right, with the rise of easier and easier blockchain technologies to take advantage of. Just to name a few (not sure if they will be around in a decade or not): Steemit.io , Gab, Mastodon, Sociall, D.tube, and much more. Many of these take the form of familiar social networks.
For example Gab and Mastodon are like decentralized Twitter. Although Twitter themselves have talked about becoming decentralized themselves. I fear they may be the only main social network that will though. The rest will become obsolete, even giants like YouTube.
As for other platforms, there are of course alternatives too: D.tube is built upon the Steem blockchain (which is Steemit), and are fundamentally linked. D.tube is a contender for an alternative to YouTube, which could be a big change for the internet’s video consumption. P.S. this is why I have started putting all my TeleInnovator Videos on there as well.
Now what does this have to do with Smart Cities? Firstly, the social aspect behind our actions is what drives us to make them. We are a social species, and if our networks are going to change dramatically, there must be an understanding of them. I also believe that these platforms are going to be the key to how our Smart Cities are going to talk to each other. Not only on the city to city scale, but person to person IN the Smart City.
The Return of the Power to the User
Earlier in this pillar content post, I mentioned that Big Data is going to be a deciding factor in our lives. How current social networks use and manipulate our data. Now I personally believe that our privacy is important, but not as much as most people. Convenience does overpower privacy.
However despite that we do need a change in how our system works, and how it is being used. Currently very little “good” causes are using our data, such as M.I.T. research or climate change scientists, etc. They have to go through many hurdles, but social networks just go and sell our data to businesses. Sure they could buy it, but why?
There is only going to be more changes like GDPR, and others like it. More and more we will regain control over our data, and we will be able to choose where it is used. Perhaps it would almost act like a digital currency (maybe a cryptocurrency will be made from it, if you are planning on doing that then contact me!). The user will decide how and when their data will be used.
This is the premise behind why decentralized platforms are being created. People got tired of the tyrannical aspects behind sites like YouTube or Facebook. The former especially with events like the “adpocalypse”, or the fervid scale of copyright strikes.
These decentralized platforms act more democratically, instead of having a central authority. Which at first has been an issue with content being stolen from Youtube, and posted on D.tube for example. However since it gives the power to the users, we just simply need to step in and vote. If enough people say hey this is stolen that isn’t right, and downvote (or whatever term a platform uses) this piece of content or user; Then that content/person gets taken down.
That power over data, content, and networks will be the social foundation to Smart Cities.
Just like with habits forming in your own personal lives, there is a key to success: compound interest. If you progress in some form 1% everyday, then over time your progression will start to show more and more. This concept is nothing new, but is hard to apply to those who aren’t inclined. The same premise can be applied to the city scale. Small changes such as lights, then traffic signals, then sidewalks, streets, then whole buildings. Soon you will have a completely revamped area.
There are two approaches we can take for the development of Smart Cities:
Start From Scratch
For the wide applicability of various technologies, and making sure everything is implemented correctly (let alone at all). Starting from scratch is an ideal premise.
However it can be hard to achieve financially, for even a company Google is having a hard time in their endeavor. In legal costs specifically, let alone the actual construction.
Depsite that hurdle the prospect of being able to make everything to the ideal form, such as architecture and city layout. Makes a profound difference in quality of the end product.
Revamp Old Cities
Regardless if we pick one or the other, or somehow both, there is pros and cons to them. The focus should be change, and trying to accept change as much as possible. So that we can get to the point of a Smart City as soon as possible. Truly things can have a much higher chance of happening and innovating if we are in such an environment.
The Polymath of Innovation
Smart City Certification
I am constantly learning, and adapting to the times personally. I want to share that skill with others through the Modular Degree Framework. Since we are still in the early stages any course in your Mod Degree is probably going to be on a different platform. The only course I require people to take before working on their own Mod Degree is the Self-Education Mini Course. This is because I felt the need for people to understand Self-EduDevMent more thoroughly.
This tides into other courses I plan on creating. One of which is based around Smart Cities, since other institutions and schools are not making one for people to take; Then I might as well make one, which would act like a base certification for people to have. Since I love to learn about them I constantly strive to learn more. The more I learn, then the more I can put into the certification to make it truly special.
Stay tuned for the cert!
Hub of Innovation
Why Every Person is Important
What Can YOU Specifically Do?
The First Steps
All it takes is the first step forward in that direction. Not only in your own personal life, or mine even, but as a people. From the smallest neighborhoods, to the countries that make them. Each of us at every level need to work together towards that progress.