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December 21 2014

Beliefs about the future are so rarely correct that they usually aren't worth the extra rigidity they impose, and that the best strategy is simply to be aggressively open-minded.
How to Be an Expert in a Changing World
Reposted bymanxxKryptonitejaphyvoydnothingiseverythingp856worst-case

May 16 2014

Reposted byRKRekrut-Kiggysoberjagger02mydafsoup-01astridsinglewhitemalemanxxpaketblubbermk55

November 09 2013

We’re surrounded by “banks” that blow up economies composed of “corporations” which mostly make you want to submit to lethal injection rather than show up for your soul-sucking “job” so you can deliver another few pennies of “profit” that doesn’t have much real value except how many megabucks were looted today in “markets” that are populated by zombie vampire cyborg robots trading worthless bits of imaginary “money” at lightspeed for the benefit of “shareholders” who are mostly pension “funds” that don’t provide security for anyone but “chief executives” who don’t execute much but the careers of “managers” who don’t manage much but the mass assembly of powerpoints for the production of “goods” that don’t actually benefit anyone to buy with “money” we don’t have anymore to live lives we don’t really want to impress people we mostly hate so our “gross national product” adds up to more and more and more McShit every quarter.

[And] today’s leaders are staunch allies [of these institutions], not their adversaries. ...

We don’t come to supplicate you; to beseech you; to beg you; to petition you. We come to replace you.
The Great Dereliction - Umair Haque
Reposted byminderleistersoberlordminxmanxxajc

November 06 2013

Times of uncertainty and crisis are the only times we have a window open for profound change. Are you ready?
Birgitta Jónsdóttir
Reposted byDeadmanwalkingsoberleyrershallowmurdeltamistressdrunkmetalgirl

September 05 2013

Both sides [in our national, global debate on the economic crisis] are arguing on how to get back to the status quo. One side argues that more spending will fuel a recovery. The other, that less spending will...fuel a recovery. It's about painfully hobbling back to square one — not taking a quantum leap past the finish line, into a better kind of race entirely.

I think we're capable of radically, explosively, dangerously, laughably, hopelessly, impossibly better.
Declare Your Radicalness - Umair Haque - Harvard Business Review

July 13 2013

Auf dem Weg zu einer vollständigen freiheitlich-demokratischen Grundordnung müssen Fremdkörper wie Geheimdienste beseitigt werden. Sie sind Ausdruck eines archaisch-kriegerisch geprägten Denkens, das es zu überwinden gilt.
Internet-Law » Geheimdienste und Bürgerrechte
Reposted byverschwoererylem235lordminxelpollodiabloDeadmanwalkingzweisatzmakrosFreXxXpowerToThePoepleSpinNE555binbash

May 24 2013

The future is not a place or a "goal": futurity is the political condition of plurality, democracy, freedom... and it is open, unpredictable, collective, promising, unforgivable or it is nothing at all. ... 

Emancipatory politics is ... not the building of a new Pyramid to survey the scene from, it is not the delusive discovery of the One True Way yet again.
amor mundi: Amor Mundi and Technoprogressive Advocacy

December 26 2012


November 18 2012

Many of us have great hopes for our energy future that involve a transition to a gleaming renewable energy infrastructure, but we face a serious bottleneck in its implementation.

Once we enter a decline phase in fossil fuel availability, energy scarcity will quickly become the new norm, which I feel will be the only motivator strong enough to make us serious about a replacement path.

The invisible hand of the market will slap us silly demanding a new energy infrastructure based on non-fossil solutions.

But here’s the rub: The construction of that shiny new infrastructure requires not just money, but…energy. And that’s the very commodity in short supply.

Will we be [politically] willing to sacrifice additional energy in the short term—effectively steepening the decline—for a long-term energy plan?
The Oil Drum | The Energy Trap liberally quoted
Reposted byriot riot
The Westphalian nation state comes with huge contradictions and paradoxes if you consider the extent of travel and communication today. A model that evolved to handle territorial boundaries in an age when it took two days to cover 100 km is bizarrely inappropriate in an age when it takes two days to span the antipodes.
2512 - Charlie Stross
Reposted byleyrerf4m8

October 25 2012

We can make Mars like Earth and live there. On a new planet. We can rocket to another world and build. Cities. Other rocket ships. We’ll— are you listening to me? Are you hearing the words that I’m saying? Why are you not excited about this?

What I have discovered is: ... The philosophical root of objection to Mars is not concerned with Mars at all. People who stand opposed to Mars think we sort of suck.

A love of Mars is a belief in humanity’s potential, and destiny. ... We may think people are good or [not], but we uniformly believe that people have the potential to be amazing. We tend to forgive ourselves our distant pasts completely, to only concern ourselves with the present occasionally, and to dream about the future relentlessly.

This is the story that Icarus told and the Wright Brothers fixed. We may not be a creature made to fly, but we are something far greater. We are a creature made to dream. We are a creature made to become whatever we want to become. ... We have work to do.
On Being Martian | Michael Solana (via enki)
Reposted byrepostthatsridicarusLogHiMaMrCoffeTokei-Ihto

August 02 2012

Play fullscreen
Fireside chat with Elon Musk, (co-)founder of PayPal, SolarCity, Tesla Motors & SpaceX.

Asked about his future company ideas, he mentions electronic airplanes (vertically starting, supersonic), more efficient highways, fusion energy and a new mode of long-distance transportation called 'Hyperloop' (solar-powered, LA–SF in 30 minutes ).
He plans to retire on Mars, because "that'd be cool."

This guy is pure inspiration.

July 24 2012


Breakthrough: The First Complete Computer Model of a Living Organism

The model accounts for every molecular interaction that takes place in the life cycle of Mycoplasma genitalia, the world's smallest free-living bacteria. ... Their model was able to predict the phenotype (what the organism looks like) by using the genotype alone.
Reposted byRKppp

June 27 2012

The Future is Ours
Reposted byauthmillenonzerocool911RK

June 05 2012


The Venus Project – critique

I watched the Venus Project's latest video [48min], encouraged by the fact that they recently decoupled themselves from the dubiously cultish, conspiracy-theorizing Zeitgeist folks.

After a bit of introductory fear mongering (collapse of society imminent!) and some statements nobody's going to argue with (War bad! Education good!), the project's central thesis is revealed:

All our problems and conflicts stem from scarcity.
But that "can be solved when technology and the methods of science are used to serve all people."
I almost agree with this – but that's the extent of our agreement.

They call their proposed solution the "resource-based economy": We declare all worldwide resources common heritage, make a big digital inventory of them (like Bucky envisioned in his 1970s World Peace Game), automate much of the labor and finally "intelligently manage" those resources & distribute the abundance to everyone using computers.

Profit seeking is portrayed as bad. The current economy is supposedly driven entirely by supply: "Products must continuously be sold", which is achieved by building in planned obsolescence. Competition is a waste of talent – why have many architects designing different buildings when you could just have The Platonic Architect design The Perfect Template? What's keeping us from realizing that vision is the monetary system: Our technological capabilities could "if managed intelligently" already create abundance, but we don't "have enough money" to pay for it. Hmm.

The film is rather tight-lipped on how such a gigantic, world-wide (re-)distribution system would work in practice, beyond some pretty lines-crossing-the-globe animations and this end-user scenario:
Instead of shopping, you go to centers that are so overflowing with an abundance of everything anyone could ever conceivably need that you can just "check out" your required products like in a library today.

Among the obvious, glaring questions that remain open: Who's going to program that world-wide distribution system? Who will be smart enough, given that even small social web platforms are mostly just an ugly pile of bitrotten bugs after a few years (*cough*)? Who will make the millions of necessary design decisions, and on what basis?
Who will get the Ferraris? Everyone? Or will there be none, the desire for them having spontaneously ceased in our newly abundant world? But then who gets the waterfront/mountaintop/... property?
I'll defer to Wikipedia here for more post-scarcity society issues that go uncovered.

By that point, the video has moved on to a lengthy sales pitch for a futuristic (actually rather retro-futuristic) city designed by the movement's guru – turns out he's the plantonic architect! Well, what a coincidence!
It's a gleaming symmetrical, uniform, clean-slate architectural fantasy planned out in inappropriately meticulous detail ("Anything you need is available in the Outside Access Domes™. City to city transfer will be by Monorail. VTOL™ aircraft will transport freight.") that reminded me of WALL-E's spaceship city only, of course, without the rampant consumerism.

I love and share much of the optimism for both humans and technology on display here, I really do.
But ultimately this is a monocultural (in the agricultural sense), centrally planned fantasy. Yeah, I know, THIS time the planners will be wiser, because this dude has some neat ideas for buildings, and because COMPUTERS *waves hand*

I wish it were that easy. From my own little point of view, no central intelligence, human or likely even otherwise, will be able to beat emergent systems in managing the insane complexity of efficiently and "fairly" deploying resources and products to satisfy different needs and desires.

Far from providing what you need beyond maybe basic food staples, those domes will end up full of what someone convinced of their smartness thinks you should (have) want(ed a year ago), and soon the Master Architect and Master Programmer will be corrupt and/or incompetent guys whose main achievements are being owed favors by other powerful people (who, in turn, got to be where they are for the very same reasons) – plus, it seems there'll be no peaceful way left to replace those people, having completely done away with government.
Alternatively, if no people are supposed to be involved in significant roles (the video does not go into that at all, but the website FAQ hints at it), the Master AI will do whatever the fuck it wants anyway and it makes little sense for us to think we can plan for that time and paint pretty pictures of it.

In my own utopia, win-win markets – achieved through true transparency, equal opportunities and empowered actors (all of which we're miles away from today) will be joined in their emergent organizational capability by collaborative networks (think crowdfunding, liquid democracy, wikis and a bunch of other yet-to-be-built social software) – and by their powers combined we'll reach a technology-fueled post-SUFFERING society hopefully sooner rather than later.
For the fulfillment of anyone's desires at any time, however, we'll have to work harder on (or wait until human ingenuity, technological progress and, yes, market forces hand us) a molecular assembler or the holodeck – I'll pass on Mr. Fresco's plan in the meantime.
Reposted byscyphi scyphi

June 04 2012

Many of the jobs that are being fought over by unions today are jobs that will be outlawed within several generations as inhumane.
Kevin Kelly: New Rules for the New Economy (1998)
Reposted byBrianne Brianne

February 09 2012

The future of our economy depends on the rebels succeeding: At every point in the last forty years, wealth, health, and happiness in our economy has been built on the freedom to disrupt the entrenched powers, not the preservation of their rent-seeking monopolies.

It will be the same with the RIAA, the MPAA, Intellectual Ventures, and everyone else scheming to enthral the people with digital “rights” management and criminal prosecution of “file sharing.” In the destruction of the monopolization of ideas lies the seeds of another revolution, one that will bring wealth, freedom, and jobs.
I have a bad feeling about this - raganwald
Reposted byauthmillenonmihisoberelpollodiablobrightbytesofias

October 04 2011

Yes, things are a little screwy all over the place, but you can do ANYTHING you want now. NONE of the perfect software has been written. It's all waiting for improvement. You can do anything you want and profit from it.
— Wccrawford countering the previous post on Hacker News
Computers have vastly underserved their users. ... It’s a beautiful shrine built on a foundation of tinker toys. ...
Today’s computing can’t take us into the future. ... Computer science has utterly failed to tackle the real world problems, things like automating jobs so people don’t have to work, or working hand in hand with humans to explore solutions we have trouble seeing ourselves. We are so far from a Star Trek-style future utopia that it breaks my heart. ...

You should literally be able to tell [the computer] what you want it to do and it would do its darnedest to do a good job for you. Computers today are the opposite of that. They own you and bend you to their will. And I don’t think people fully realize how trapped we are within this aging infrastructure. ...

The majority of users are algorithmically illiterate. That’s a travesty in 2011. ... Programming, at least the fundamentals, should be taught in elementary school just like any other language ...
The Real Zack Morris | The State of the Art is Terrible
Oh, what a lovely all-over-the-place rant.
Reposted bymynnialeyrernungeepaket

September 28 2011

The universe is probably littered with the one-planet graves of cultures which made the sensible economic decision that there's no good reason to go into space - each discovered, studied, and remembered by the ones who made the irrational decision.
Randall Munroe

Reposted byleyrerlisaantifuchshannesekeliasasshattimecodeapoccliffordmalschauen2blubberqueitschantihecgiantspacehamsterastridderpymkhlylem235sushimakostonerr
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