Trial and error for progress

The mother of all inventions is experimentation. It’s a system for generating truths. It’s a system for applying evolutionary forces to knowledge generation.

“It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt

As a society we face several big shifts in the next couple decades. These are technological trends including artificial intelligence, virtual reality, quantum computing, and so on. Each offer us opportunities and risks. When reasoning through these topics we should consider a safe approach. Medicine offers us such a model.

A medical professional wants to prevent disease in a patient while doing no harm. They achieve this via a standardized and regulated process for discovering new treatments. The process is clinical trials.

Modern medicine is science, ethics, and regulation. As a profession they value trust. Trust is the currency of the future. Businesses that earn the trust of their customers will win. Businesses that neglect this fact will lose to an error in their pursuit of innovation.

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