By Jeff Piersall

Jeff Piersall is co-founder and CEO of SCB Marketing, which publishes i4 Business and SpaceCoast Business magazines. Contact him at (321) 537-4941 or

Jeff Piersall is co-founder and CEO of SCB Marketing, which publishes i4 Business and SpaceCoast Business magazines. Contact him at (321) 537-4941 or

It is a familiar cliché from the Spanish born American philosopher George Santayana, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” In a world of hyper change, like nothing that we have ever experienced before in our history, this form of amnesia can be devastating.

Thought leaders describe the exponential curve of change declaring 90{099636d13cf70efd8d812c6f6a5a855fb6f8f27f35bea282d2df1d5ae896e2c2} of the technology we will be using will be developed in the next ten years. What does this mean? That the cumulative amount of change over the past hundred years, at least in terms of technology, will basically be repeated over the next ten years.

“The essence of a free market society and of democracy are the same; that is, the opportunity to change one’s circumstances in life.”

Leadership_Infographic AI and the Price of Advancement

Freedom is defined as “the state of being at liberty rather than in confinement.” Yet many believe our freedom is being threatened by our own advancement. One of our greatest advancements which could become our greatest threat is Artificial Intelligence. It already exists with Apple’s Siri and the Google car technology. In the past five years, over 150 companies created in Silicon Valley are developing various types of Artificial Intelligence. Stephen Hawking recently commented that “computers will overtake humans with Artificial Intelligence … our society is a race between the advancement of technology and the wisdom with which we use it.”

Essential to the realization of freedom is the opportunity for productive enterprise, but I am concerned that those opportunities are slipping away. “As we move full swing into an era of innovation, the United States should be educating to our creative strengths, but instead we’re eroding the very characteristics that will enable our kids to thrive. We’re setting kids up for a life without passion, purpose or meaningful employment. Absent profound change, our country is a decade away (2025) from having 50 million chronically unemployed young adults, adrift in life and awash in debt.” – Ted Dintersmith.

Don’t Boil the Frog

We could be living in the midst of the “cooked frog syndrome.” Where a frog dropped into hot water will jump out immediately, put the same frog in a nice cool pot of water and start turning up the temperature a few degrees per hour and eventually the frog will cook to death – never exiting the water.

In examining any situation, you must go beneath the surface and examine the root cause. The tree is dead long before any material signs appear because the root system has gone bad underground. By no means am I claiming any authority to know the root cause, but it does appear that two things are really impacting the current situation: the family unit and creativity.

As a society we must protect the family unit; the evidence is irrefutable – a child’s chances of success are dramatically increased when raised in a two parent home. Which leads to the second element. We also must protect the spirit of creativity, which often grows out of the ability to read. The impact of this spirit must be instilled in the formative years of a child between the ages of 2 and 6. If you look at families today who have 2 – 6-year-old children who are being nurtured through literature, you will note a drastic difference in the abilities of these children by the time they reach the first grade.

This margin of difference in children’s development entering the first grade is growing broader every day, right along with the growth of technology. Here is a lesson of history, to try and address one problem, like early preschool education without addressing the other, unstable family units, will produce marginal results. These are like two rails of a train, which can produce derailment on either side.

Wayne Gretzy, the world class hockey player, commented: “I don’t skate where the puck is, I skate to where the puck is going.” As a society, we need to skate to freedom.