God, I'm tired of trying to persuade people not to destroy their world, and to take care of the victims of prior attempts to destroy it.
People want to stay asleep at the wheel, in their comfy little ruts, even though they are two wheels off the cliff already.
It's Panic Time!
What does it take to move people's attention off their wallets or petty political rivalries on to the core question of the day: how do we regulate technology so that it doesn't destroy all of our lives?
That's the core issue: global warming, mass surveillance, combat robots.
I ploughed this territory 10 years ago, and published Mother of Hydrogen, an SF novel about how the human race survives nanotech and biotech wars, and manages a rogue AI problem.
I find myself wondering this morning how many people actually get my work - here we are, 20 years in to me continually writing, teaching, communicating, building - and I can't tell if a lot of people get it and are mostly quiet or if very few people actually got it.
Which is it?
It probably helps if I define it: here is my best short summary.
1) The human race is currently running the world like a death camp for poor humans, and particularly for the other species we farm or drive into extinction.
2) Fixing this situation is possible, but requires will.
That's the core thesis. Then,
3) It is possible, by mass collaboration using any available mechanism (open source, markets, new religious movements etc.) to live without this continuous catastrophic violence.
If 2020's Black Lives Matter protests had been about fossil fuel driven global warming annihilating agriculture in Africa, a hell of a lot more black lives would have been saved - along with lives of every other kind.
American police being pigs is a confined issue. CO2 is Famine
And I am *fucking over* being polite about this.
your. cause. is. irrelevant. garbage.
We are *unbelievably fucked* on climate, and its going to exterminate hundreds of millions, poorest first, in nearly all of the scenarios we face going forwards.
Hard to explain it to people: since 2002 I've been working flat out, as hard as a human can, to pre-position food, shelter, housing, and water for the hundreds of millions of people that climate change inevitably displaces later this century.
Even now people are in super deep denial about how hard climate change is going to hit the world. They're still thinking "songbirds migrate away" not "a holocaust of global famine that hits subsistence farmers hardest of all."
CO2 is still through the roof. Hard landing approach
myhopeforthe.world lays out the plan: housing, then water purification, cooking. Right now, in the background, I'm working on refugee clothing and beds. Cooking I figured out mostly years back. Housing, the hexayurt, thrives. Resiliencemaps.org is totally transformative
So we've built it. @Mattereum I mean. Stage one is basically done: we've got customers selling NFTs on @OpenSea, backed by physical items, and new people are coming on board slowly but steadily. It is a business.
Constant pressure to issue the token and to THE BIG ICO like 2018.
A lot of the other companies in the NFT space have raised *extremely* large amounts of money on very, very thin product plans. We recognise bubble thinking. I'm not 100% sure the "just take the money" approach produces much working product in the long run, but people do their way
What we're planning on doing is this: we're going to keep putting great physical assets on chain until the NFT space wakes up and says "oh my god this is *exactly* how the blockchain takes over the world: ACTUAL GOODS AND SERVICES!"
Spent a bit of time yesterday arguing with obnoxious bitcoiners. I learned a few things.
1) all their schooling on bitcoin has been propaganda
2) they're psychologically *unrecognisable* compared to crypto people 5 years ago
It's a totally new kind of person, with a new story.
What's interesting about that is the sheer cultic emotional intensity that bitcoin has attracted. These people are nuts!
All they know is that bitcoin wins, and anybody who says different is THE ENEMY.
But *they do not even know what bitcoin is* - "cap theorem?" "byzantine?"
And this, this is super dangerous: to have a cult loyalty to something you do not truly understand makes one into a monster. There's simply no other way to defend a thing you don't know, other than blind force and yelling.
This is going to have to be corrected: teach the people.
Now, why does a medium-grade defense intellectual quit to go into crypto. The short answer is "I needed a job that paid better than think tanks" but why did I take *that* job, with the Ethereum Foundation? blog.ethereum.org/2015/03/03/eth…
Urgh. So many ducks to get in rows. So much to do, so much I would have done differently. Still butting up against capacity limits of various kinds. But people are starting to get it, starting to grasp what the @Mattereum game plan really is.
It's funny watching the penny drop for people: it starts with "ok, so the stuff is in a vault" followed by "wait... how do I know what's in the vault is real? I can't even inspect it!"
Well, that's right. And you've already paid in crypto, so you can't get the money back. Right?
Once people get that insight, "oh you have to prove what is in the vault!" everything else pops into place neatly. One short socratic dialogue later, the wonder is clearly perceived: "the NFT is a financial instrument which may happen to contain a physical item, plus arbitration"
2) metamodernism falsely claims all the action is in the space between *modernism and **post-modernism.
* myth of progress
** myth, because progress towards what?
Progress requires goals. Pomo argues successfully there are no clearly defined goals without totalitarian aspects.
3) the “goal crisis” causes political shattering among the deep readers. A similar crisis to the 1950s aeon.co/ideas/how-camu… related to nihilism and existentialism: “now that we are free, what do I do?”
In our times, this goalless shattering results in intersectional politics.
Alright. Let's talk about what's going to happen next with @mattereum.
Things are about to get really interesting. I'd liken what we're about to do to the invention of e-commerce. We are about to do the first sale of physical assets on Web3 which fundamentally improves on Web2.
The first thing you're going to notice: we have very poor language for talking about this innovation.
Why? It's new-new. So new we don't know how to talk about it.
Imagine trying to explain what a "domain name server" is to somebody who has never seen a web page.
We are here.
Right now there is an almost metaphysical separation between the world of "crypto" property rights, where code is law, and "fiat" property rights, where law is law.
Crypto property is global property, its jurisdiction is (roughly) "The Internet". Fiat property is in countries.
Once in a while you just level up, see something that clicks, and nothing is quite the same after that. Those life defining shifts in perspective.
This one is not easy to describe. It’s about how we model and speak about power.
I had one of these about money in 2014, triggered by the COSMIC TRIGGER play put on by Daisy Eris Campbell and the gang. Left my underpaid thinktank job and went to work for the Ethereum team pretty much on the spot.
One life ended, and another began. Things *really* changed.
I recently defined power as "there is nobody I have to lie to" which took some people by surprise. I was surprised they were surprised.
Then I realized that to a lot of people, power isn't about self-determination, power is about control.