Unusual Uses: Pivots in Inventions & Investments
Inventions are no longer these huge earth-shattering things like airplanes, the steam engine, the automobile, and the microscope. They are less flamboyant than the cotton gin, the columbine, air conditioning units, or self-cleaning toilets. Innovation is more subtle now, entailing such intangible developments as Internet apps, social media, and small-scale electronic technology. If you were to invest in tomorrow today, where would your dollars go? How could you predict selling products on Facebook or replacing your computer with a phone? The world has gone from concrete to conceptual and investors have to stay tuned to take part.
Many successful investors did get in early of course. Witness Bill Gates or Steve Jobs among many others. These people had a vision that seemed radical, even ridiculous at the time. These kinds of far-sighted individuals are few and far between, but they do exist. Joining their ranks takes a lot of creative thinking and boundary breaking. Sometimes we all need a gentle nudge to take note of what is going on around us if we want to participate in economic growth.
As an ethical being, you will want to choose wisely and find resources that match your particular interests and concerns. It can be done. Take medicine, for example. If this is a focus with value for you, you will want to know what inventions and changes are in the making, perhaps on a par with the once colossal appearance of Lasik, the use of shunts for coronary bypass procedures, or adapting artificial organs like heart valves.
Something small can become huge in an entirely new context. Take the menial ubiquitous stapler. It has gone from the office to the surgery room with an entirely new purpose. Anticipating such a measure would have meant thinking really outside the box. Now stapling during operations is commonplace (think of shrinking the stomach or sealing wounds) and has helped save lives. You can’t get more ethical than this!
What else is on the horizon? Investing in the quality of human life and anything that facilitates a better environment is going to take priority or so we hope. Curing disease is one thing and prolonging life is another. Pharmaceuticals are billion dollar propositions. From an ethical perspective, where do you draw the line on tampering with Mother Nature? Do we want to clone people like we do animals? Do we want to make genetic alterations to create a perfect race? Do we want a better way to do an abortion?
Investing will go where the profits lie: this is the way of modern life. But we can pick and choose our battles and support efforts that benefit mankind in a healthy and natural way. We need to eschew those companies that thrive only on the greed motive. If more people make the decision to use ethics as the basis of their financial operations, it would be an ideal world indeed. Innovation is here to stay, no matter what. The goal is to guide it toward better ends to avoid squandering valuable funds and resources on peripheral things.