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Convergence…

Convergence as a word often conjures up mental images of liquids flowing into each other. Trends in technology also spring to mind, too. But technology doesn’t have exclusive rights on convergence…

Convergence as a word often conjures up mental images of liquids flowing into each other. Trends in technology also spring to mind, too. But technology doesn’t have exclusive rights on convergence…

Mark Dykeman of Broadcasting Brain dropped a question on Twitter, which immediately begged a question whose answer was outside of the remit of Twitter. So I immediately replied via Pounce:

“OK, so the question is / was: everything that rises must converge — agree / disagree?

First of all, let’s dispense with the obvious stuff; not everything that’s unrelated and rising in its particular field with converge with something else in another field. The more complementary two things are, then the more likely it is that they will mesh at some point.

Thing is, you leave the question very context-free, so we could be talking about literally anything!

Diversification is a function of nature, so yes, a lot of things will spread out hither & yonder as a natural process. However, if we’re going to remain within the remit of natural processes, there’s such a thing as Convergent Evolution, whereby animals evolve similar / same adaptations to other totally unrelated species.

For example, eyes. Then there’s fur, plus blood and specifically the hemoglobin, which a variety of plant has. Yes, a plant with warm red blood!

In any case, this is very different to convergence, because that’s often a deliberate act, or a learned response.

In the context of technology, two gadgets might become one for many reasons, neither of which have to be on the ascension. Such is business these days, spotting that all-important niche that one else has seen is an much to do with spotting a need as it is a cheap, efficient way of filling it.

Staying on the subject of business, and looking their their eyes, then convergence is a much more pragmatic affair, in the sense that being subsumed or absorbed by another player (either a competitor or some business just looking to “buy in” talent), then convergence is exceptionally common and very much the accepted way of doing things.

The natural analogy is that of beads of water coalescing into every larger globules…”

To someone like me, trends of all kinds form a near endless source of fascination. Though most happy ruminating on matters technological and the trends therein, the world is a big enough place to keep my mind happy for some time to come…

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By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

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