Great post by Wayne Hodgins Living and Learning at the Beginning of the Cognitive Age? A few of the main points from his post:
I’ve often observed that for the past few thousand years, we as humans have focused on leveraging and augmenting our physical abilitiesâ€”initially with basic tools such as the lever, the wheel, pulleys, screws, etc. and then on through machines, internal combustion engines, hydraulics, electricity and robots. All of these enable us to do things we either could physically not do ourselves or give us the ability to do them faster, easier, and at greater scale.
… the future (and some aspects of the present) is about putting more and more focus on leveraging and augmenting our cognitive capabilities. The most obvious example is computer technology that enables us to do things with our brains that we either could not do or now can do much faster, easier, and at greater scale.
… we are living at the beginning of a cognitive age, and that indeed the future is all about leveraging and augmenting our cognitive abilities.
This all aligns very well with the need for an increased focus on learning.
He asks for comments at the end. Wayne is someone I’ve known (and admired) for years. His observations are completely in line with what we are seeing.
In his post and in the NY Times op-ed column by David Brooks The Cognitive Age that he discusses, quite a bit of the focus is on international aspects. In a way, I’m less interested in international and more concerned that the vast majority of knowledge workers are facing an increasing gap between their current knowledge work skills and what is needed in the future.
To me, this represents a new kind of illiteracy. And it’s worse, because it’s not a conscious illiteracy. You feel like you can still do your job. But you are slowly falling behind and as time goes by it becomes harder to catch up because you lack the learning skills that are part of this new literacy.