An ongoing Medium series exploring technology's role in empowering individuals in music, entrepreneurship, and business.

It was the summer of 2005 and editor of New Musical Express, Conor McNicholas, was on his way to a concert in Reading. He didn’t know it at the time, but it was a performance he would later say killed NME.

The magazine-turned music news site was experiencing a new peak in popularity after two decades of declining readership following the heyday of British punk in the 1970s. NME had returned and was now the fulcrum and central lever point for promoting local British bands…

The samurai’s integration into modern Japan offers a rare precedent of what happens when a highly skilled segment of society suddenly becomes obsolete.

The growth of artificial intelligence looms as an unrivaled threat to work in the 21st Century.

Unlike the Industrial Revolution, which replaced low-skilled human and animal labor, modern technology and algorithms threaten the expertise and education of highly-skilled individuals called knowledge workers.

To navigate this uncertain future, let’s go back to feudal Japan.

The end of the samurai era

Japan clings on to a reputation for advanced transportation, futuristic appliances, robots, and other modern technology, but that’s not quite the impression I get walking past one of Japan’s many DVD shops or listening to my girlfriend explain her job at the local newspaper company delivering papers…

Long before Ninja Python (NINJA-IDE or Ninja-IDE Is Not Just Another IDE), there was the legendary samurai Miyamoto Musashi.

Lethal with the sword, Musashi is considered a Japanese sword-saint, and with an undefeated record in 61 duels, the guy didn’t make too many mistakes.

Musashi retired from dueling in his late 20s and went on to start his own martial arts school and publish “The Book of Five Rings” to codify his teachings.

Now, unless you plan on swinging a halberd around the office like a character in The Lord of the Rings, or lining up for battle with the…

Oliver Theobald

Writer on machine learning and trends. Other hobbies include foreign languages, Japanese history and martial arts. Find my books on Amazon.

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