Since the advent of Microsoft Windows, way back then, the globe has been moving in a direction of standardization. MS Windows, regardless of how much its founder is vilified, standardized the desktop, not just technically, but the way things are done. It was a remarkable technology engineered shift to a world that might one day enjoy homogenized culture of thought, values, ethics, customs, ethos and morals. It was never forced on us, I believe, as we gladly gravitated towards this “Democratization of Technology” as Friedman referred to it in The Lexus and the Olive Tree. Today the world is rapidly transitioning and hurtling towards this new society as technology adapts, advances and alters the shape of global society. But there are some who will resist it, and egos and sometimes arrogance will not allow acceptance and technology will be viewed not as a friend. That, can be perilous.
“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” George Bernard Shaw.
It culminated in the angst of a nation, as Coach, Captain and Vice-Captain were reduced to tears, and dismissed from the world of cricket through resignations and firings. The world looked on in disbelief as the infractions of the Australian Cricket Team were revealed in stark reality, as rules were broken, as conventions were trampled on and the game was brought into disrepute. The undeniable evidence was produced for the world to see, as it happened in real-time.
On March 24th, 2018, Cameron Bankcroft, a player on the Australian Team, was discovered on live television cameras, to be using something to interfere with the condition of the cricket ball. This contravenes Law 41, Subsection 3 of the Laws governing cricket of The International Cricket Council (ICC). the world governing body for the sport of Cricket. The Coach, Darren Lehmann, The Captain, Steve Smith, and the Vice-Captain, David Warner have resigned and/or dismissed from the team and/or banned from Cricket. It is uncertain what will be their future, but having departed, they have left in their wake, apart from the debris of Australian Cricket in general, a huge opportunity to transform their Cricketing culture into one which conforms to the Laws, instead of trying to push the boundaries of FairPlay.
The Australian Cricket Board (ACB) will no doubt immerse themselves in deep retrospection to allow for a new approach.
How did this all begin
It all started when on March 23rd, 2018, during the 3rd Test Match, on the 3rd Day, television cameras picked up Cameron using an object of some sort, to interfere with the cricket ball. The images were shown on the ground’s giant display screen. It spark a firestorm and as Cameron tried to conceal the object, the situation rapidly escalated from there as the Umpires, Match Referees and other officials quickly got involved. The firestorm which resulted was unprecedented in the history of Australian Cricket, and the Game in general. The Australian Prime Minister was moved to make public statements on the unfolding drama as the Australian and World media were thrown into a frenzy. The events that unfurled are well documented on social media.
In this entire episode, which in my mind is an opportunity to improve, digital technology, in the form of television coverage, with over twenty digital cameras covering all angles of the play, second by second, for the duration of the game.
There is no doubt the technology uncovered and provided the evidence to cause the upheaval. Digital Age technology makes it near impossible to hide wrong doing on the field of play. Without it it would have been impossible to gather and show evidence of wrongdoing. The high definition cameras with ultra slow motion display can make the review of any time segment almost instantly, and capable of displaying even the blades of grass on the ground. The technology is powerful. The result was swift justice.
Societal Change effected by the Technology
It is clear that the technology will effect meaningful and lasting change. It’s role in bringing change is demonstrated powerfully in this intervention. But it does not end there. The use of Digital Aged technology, as amplified in the Cricket scenario, goes far beyond Cricket.
It means a profound shift in society, in business, in governance. Illegal behavior, says this message, will be dealt with swiftly and effectively, engendering societal change as it renders cheating and other ills to be useless.
Just as high definition digital broadcasting caused this realization, other digital age technologies such as Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence have the potential to enable a complete and impenetrable firewall of accountability in everyday transactions, financial or otherwise.
When such technology resonates with their value to society, a better and more value based society emerges. The proof of concept of the value of technology was demonstrated in all its power and reach during that Cricket Test Match in Cape Town, South Africa on March 24th 2018.
Ushering in the Digitally Advanced Society
The Digital Age is about how we live, respect for law and order, universally applied, about the highly advanced societies that are about to be created with Digital Transformation.
The Digital Age reaches far beyond the transformation of the business of governance but into the realm of a Golden Age of existence. It is simply not just about software or the digital skills required in the 4th Industrial Revolution.
It is way, way beyond, towards a value based society, a “tech-tonic” shift that creates a new world society, interconnected, integrated and interrelated through the World Wide Web of technology.
This new world is irrevocably progressing, and it must be understood, that in order to erect a new house in the space occupied by the old one, inevitably the old has to be broken down.
Digital technology will create the new, but it doesn’t have to destroy the old, if the traditional recognizes the power of global transformation through technology. The swiftness with which the old was destroyed in the Cricketing world is evidence, but had there been a propensity to play within the respect of the rules of the theory of moral sentiments, such harsh and painful scenes of destruction of lives and careers could have been avoided.
The globe, whether we like it or not, is moving to a point where technology will be able to decide whether wars are fought or not, whether there will be loss of lives or not. Will robots fight wars or build societies, will artificial intelligence save lives or not, the choice of whether there is an easy or seamless transition or not is mankind’s.
A new global society built on values is more than possible, and highly likely as the changes in Cricket have demonstrated, and technology will be at the forefront on the new order. But the final say will always be that of humankind’s.