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Blockchain Essentials – A 25-Year Reflection Through the Internet and Digital Age

The next generation of data, information and media will come through a more sophisticated platform known as blockchain. Here’s an introduction from Oral Roberts University’s CIO, Michael Mathews.

Oral Roberts University
During the mid-1990s, the world of education was introduced to the Internet. The early World-Wide-Web browsers for the Internet were Mosaic and Netscape. Most educators were focused on discussing the potential impact of the Internet, computer-based training (CBT) and object-oriented learning. More specifically, people confused their understanding of what the Internet, World Wide Web, browser, Mosaic, Netscape, and HTML were all about. They were interchanging terminology, and the learning curve was steep.
This same state of confusion exists as the world prepares for Internet 3.0: bitcoin, cryptocurrency, blockchain, machine learning, deep learning and artificial intelligence. As I prepared an introduction to blockchain for a few Oklahoma senators and university presidents, I was greatly encouraged to hear their reactions. They quickly knew that the next generation of data, information and media will come through a more sophisticated platform known as blockchain. Keep in mind that they came to this conclusion once someone disassembled most of the confusion. The presentation can be viewed here.
Victor Hugo once said: “No army can stop an idea that has come its time.” The same can be said of the Internet when it started, and no opinion or debate was about to stop something that a global society needed. The concept of the smartphone to access the Internet and connect to the world was also unstoppable. Today, the greatest famine in the world is not food, but trust, due to the amount of replicated data systems, and nothing will be able to stop the idea of blockchain. 

Each society that the world has progressed through has always developed the next great famine, and today that famine is trust. Diagram one illustrates the ages we have progressed through with its associated famine, while diagram two illustrates simple examples of distrust because of data. During the information and digitization age, more data servers, data sets, reports and analytics have been reproduced to create the greatest amount of distrust. Very few people know what the ‘real data’ or ‘master copy’ of a data record is.
It’s clear that blockchain is the next generation of a sophisticated Internet, while bitcoin is the equivalent of Mosaic, the Internet’s first browser. Blockchain should be viewed as the next generation of the Internet that designs trust, personalization, security and integration to all worldwide data. It has the sophistication to blend the best of artificial intelligence, mixed realities, machine learning, deep learning, fluidity and the Internet of Things for full personification of intelligence.

Another way to view blockchain is a worldwide vision (geovision) for what the Internet was intended to be — the Internet of freedom, the Internet of dignity, the Internet of light, the Internet of people — but not the Internet of Things.

Recently I was quoted in ThriveGlobal as one of 39 experts on the impact that augmented reality will have on the world over the next five years. The exact quote shown below is the real value statement of blockchain. In fact, in April of 2016 I spoke at the United Nations on this very notion of moving humanity forward with nano-sizing education to reach the world. I am recorded on United Nations TV as stating that the Internet of Things will go down in history as the worst-named technology in history. The blockchain revolution of the Internet saves the day, and makes that statement very plausible.
“According to Michael L. Mathews, CIO and AVP for Innovation at ORU, when education is as engaging and personal as Pokémon Go, society will be transformed and humanity will be on a pathway to accelerated intelligence. Augmented reality will traverse the value of tech 1.0, 2.0, 3.0., etc., by placing the value on humanity/society with a label of 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, etc. Oral Roberts University has created access to 500,000 intelligent learning environments by creating a truly global campus around the world with a $1.2M investment in augmented reality. This innovation paved the way for Nanosizing education into personalized intelligence distributed around the world; with an engaging educational value to humanity and society.” ~Thrive Global, January 2018.
In summary, the neutral aspects of invention that are non-threatening to education live on, but the brand names will change. To date, only the Internet and U.S. Library of Congress’ ISBN numbering system with their MARC code have been perceived as neutral entities that allow the world of education to take full advantage of their framework and methodology. Blockchain is clearly the third neutral framework that will bring global personification while fixing the trust famine in the land.