Tracking meta-trends for humanity as a civilization.
I consider myself a futurist and enjoy staying up to date on the cutting edge of technological progress and the advancement of social, political and economic philosophies. The world is changing at a ferocious technological pace, and the rate of change is not linear but asymptotic and it is accelerating. There is so much advancement and change no single human can keep track of all of it. This make for living in exciting times, and yet makes it even harder to predict the future. I am personally perpetually seduced by mysteries, and the state of humanity in the future is perhaps one of the greatest mysteries. I am simultaneously concerned and optimistic about the change I see happening in the world.
My goal in tracking these trends on a daily/weekly basis is not just for curiosity’s sake but also it informs me in terms of what needs I see and what to focus on. I am chiefly interested in ideas and technologies that have a revolutionary impact for the benefit of human civilization as a whole. I choose to focus then on areas where I feel progress is not being made fast enough to keep pace with all the other accelerating trends.
Another purpose of creating this list for myself is to create the basis for a common agenda of change and to be able to prioritize areas where we are lacking as a species.
Summary of Trends
- Space travel & Colonization
- Transportation – Electric, Self Driving, hyperloops.
- Alternative Energy
- Crypto, Web 3 & the Network State
- Networking power of the internet. Web 2.0 & beyond.
- Advancements in Metaphysics
- Advancements in Human Psychology
- Overpopulation – the primary driver behind environmental & ecosystem collapse.
- Total financial Debt
- Monopoly/Cartel in Education, Housing and Healthcare
- Increases in unemployment
- Increases in income inequality
- Lack of Psycho-Spiritual Evolution/Education
Technological trends – positive
Space travel and colonization. Innovations by SpaceX in rocket re-usability and the prospect of colonizing Mars within the next 6 years. Here I beleive the most important aspect is the mining of asteroids for rare minerals, and the eventual task of moving all heavy industry into outer-space where it wont’t do ecological damage to earth. Also moving masses of humans to other planets will help alleviate the overpopulation problem on earth.
Transportation. The rise of electric cars, self-driving cars, shared cars, electric flying cars, mass supersonic travel and hyperloops. This trend excites me tremendously as I believe so much time is wasted travelling and it causes an undue amount of stress.
- Electric Cars – Eliminate oil dependency, eliminate pollution if powered/charged by solar panels.
- Self Driving Cars – Safer, more efficient and stress free travel.
- The Boring Company tunnels – Cars may ultimately not be needed if we can be whisked around in pods beneath cities, allowing us to get anywhere at 200-300km/ hr, and between cities at 1,200+ km/h in hyperloops.
- Lillium Jet – Personal flying “car” 300km rang, 300km/hr. Out of all the flying car options out there this is one of the only that uses electric jet’s and has the best performance numbers to match.
- Electric Bikes – My ultimate dream would be that cars/pods are whisked around underneath a city in tunnels and that the streets cater to pedestrians and electric bikes. I see electric bikes replacing one primary mode of transport in many cities from Barcelona to Rome to New Delhi and this is mopeds. Mopeds can be quite noisy and most burn fuel creating pollution. Even turned electric they are bigger and more cumbersome than electric bikes. Electric bikes can easily reach the speeds, acceleration of mopeds in a much smaller package.
- VR. Owning a HTC Vive I cannot understate how amazing and massively disruptive this technology is. 6 DoF fully tracked immersive VR is the future of how we interact with all digital content. The future won’t have any TV screens, monitors or cellphone screens in it. They will all be replaced by a pair of glasses.
- Magic Leap is likely the breakthrough technology that will change things the most in terms of interactive with reality.
- Sadly I don’t see wide scale adoption coming until the late 2020’s as the resolution factor is still relatively limited. Reading text is currently very hard with state of the art VR headsets.
- CTRL-labs – Neural Interface Technology. This is utterly incredible technology that will enable superhuman output especially in VR and AR environments.
- Neuralink is a brain machine interface technology with the goal to increase human data output bandwidth to digital technologies. This I believe will have a huge impact on how we interact with digital content going forward. VR + AI + Neuralink = a whole new way for digital immersion enchaining creativity and productivity.
Artificial Intelligence – Deep Learning
- Software 2.0 – Software that programs itself; see video presentation by Andrej Karpathy
- AI Deep Learning Neural Net specific chips built by Tenstorrent
Ark Invest predicts Deep Learning will have 3x the level of impact to our society than the internet had in the same time frame!
Here I have to say I firmly only believe in “narrow AI”. I don’t believe in supreme “General AI” or some kind of singularity, and on a panel of the top leading experts in AI, neither does Elon Musk.
I am not sure what his reasons are, but mine arise from a psychological philosophical understanding. Machines can never be conscious, sentient, self aware, And here I define those things with the capability for self reflection and capacity for emotion which is what creates self-centered meaning and thus purpose. My position is that no matter how good AI gets it can never feel emotion for example, it can never contemplate the meaning of life. Machines can never have a soul.
The fact that some people think this is possible arises out of what I believe as a fundamental misunderstanding of the differentiation between algorithmic and rational intelligence. AI an machines are really good, better than humans at fast computational logic and this is only one kind of intelligence. It is a neocortex cerebral like mathematical intelligence. There are two other types of intelligence that evolutionary and developmentally that come before that kind of intelligence even arises in humans and all mammals. There is first the instinctual, and second the limbic or emotional following a triune brain theory. It is these two levels of intelligence that are unique to organic life mammalian in this sense that computers no matter how fast or complex they become will never attain because they operate purely mathematically. I know this runs counter to most sci-fi fantasy about Terminators, iRobots, etc. where the creators project emotions onto machines as it were. I also believe this connects in to the premise of the Chinese Room thought Experiment which in my opinion is a good case against Strong AI.
All that said, I believe in the future all mundane tasks, many analytical tasks, and mathematical computational tasks, simulations, and statistical pattern identifying AI will be of significant importance. It will eliminate many, many jobs, and also empower humans to understand complex multi variable problems and determine their solutions at an unprecedented level.
- Energy Storage. Ultra Capacitors and battery advancements.
- Overunity tech, like the kind I am developing with my company Nonlinear Dynamics.
- Solar in conjunction with energy storage and overunity.
- As a last resort backup – Geothermal with needed advancements in drilling such as HyperDrilling.
Wind and hydro do not excite me due to limitations in scaling and environmental consequences.
Crypto, Web 3 & the Network State
Here I have been most excited by Hedera Hashgraph which is Byzantine Fault Tolerant and capable of 250k+ transactions per second. This technology obsoletes all blockchain based tech such as bitcoin. It is much more than just a cryptocurrency it’s the future trust layer of the internet. Smart contracts, micro-transactions which could quickly and fairly handle the distribution of all digital content such as art, music and film. I believe this tech is nothing short of revolutionary and has so many vast reaching implications for all things digital and data driven. I dream of a world without banks and transaction fees.
Hedera Hashgraph did come out with a utility token but it has severely disappointed me. The problem with most cryptocurrencies on the market is that their supply has been artificially capped, meaning the currency rises with value over time as the supply diminishes through distribution. The problem is that this leads to hoarding as no one wants to spend currency that is certain to rise in value with time. This ultimately will then grind the flow of money to a halt destroying the very purpose of currency as a medium of exchange.
For a cryptocurrency to actually work on a global level, inflation would need to be built in as a safe guard against hoarding. The inflation ideally would be a very small number….perhaps even a fraction of a percentage and/or possibly algorithmically tied to a liquidity metric to insure that hoarding does not take place, yet saving is still somewhat desirable at least in the short/medium term.
The Network State Idea put forth by Balaji Srinivasan
- The Book: https://thenetworkstate.com/
- Many talks and podcast interviews on youtube with Balaji Srinivasan
Networking power of the internet. This is multifaceted but an area that excites me the most is education.
The power of having access to nearly all the worlds information at your fingertips is incredible. The benefits incalculable. I have spent a lot of my life on forums networking and learning from others. If it were not for the internet I would not be working with the people I am today.
That said I think the internet and social networking have a lot of room for improvement. Many businesses still do not have an online presence. Half the global population still is not online. Information glut is a major problem to be solved. Meaningful relevant information that is well organized and quickly findable is also a major work in progress.
Advancements in Human Psychology and understanding.
There are a few psychology systems on the fringes that have made radical leaps forward in human psychology. I believe the synthesis of these systems will one day give us ways of relating to ourselves and others that will immeasurably make our lives richer and more meaningful. The capacity for this “technology” is that it will give us methods for exploring and expanding the human felt experience in ways difficult to even imagine now.
- Bodynamic – Somatic Developmental Psychology
- SCT, ISTDP, Rationality, SAVI,
Negative Trends that are cause for concern
Overpopulation – the primary driver behind environmental & ecosystem collapse.. The need for food and energy is putting a massive strain on the planet and it’s resources. If things continue as is, with no change, humanity runs the real risk of causing self extinction through the raw magnitude of resource extraction in energy, materials and food. The solutions as I see it are:
- 1) Vertical farming, and lab grown meat. I believe farming is one of the, if not the most environmentally destructive force on the planet today. See these graphs for example. Vertical farming has the potential to eliminate pesticide and herbicide use, reduce land use by many orders of magnitude and majorly conserve fresh water use. Lab grown meat will eliminate the need to raise and kill animals for food who often suffer unnecessarily in factory farming. Also hopefully eliminate fish farming. From an environmental perspective I believe vertical farming is likely more important than even space colonization for off-worlding heavy industry.Companies to keep an eye on:
- https://www.plenty.ag/ (has several ex-Tesla Vp’s),
- The Green Power House – BioChar creation through Pyrolsis + Algae for creating the most fertile nutrient dense soil demonstrated by Michael Smith
- Urban Farming as demonstrated by Erik Cutter
- 2) Vertical Human housing/business. Increasing urban population density by building more condos/sky scrapers.
- 3) Alternative energy – see above
- 4) Space colonization – decreasing human load on planet+ material extraction and heavy processing by moving people and activities to space – see above
Total financial Debt. And by this I mean the aggregate of Federal, State/Provincial, Municipal, Household and Bushiness/Financial sector. The average OECD debt is close to 375% as a ratio of GDP. This is clearly unsustainable. A huge meltdown in stock markets that leads to massive unemployment and perhaps the collapse of society as we know it and all funds for technological advancement is one of my greatest concerns. I we can innovate ourselves out of the issues caused by overpopulation, but only if there is capital to do it, otherwise the real risk is we descend back into the dark ages in some post apocalyptic world.
Monopoly/Cartel in Education, Housing and Healthcare. Broadly no increase in quality, or even decrease in quality in these sectors with ever increasing costs. Marc Andreessen lays out the issue succinctly here: https://youtu.be/_s1xyZM-2Gw?t=1220
- End the monopoly/cartel at the government sponsored level, municipal, state and federal
- Encourage competition in these sectors, allow for more density (condos) in cities
- Education is an archaic 500 year old model. Needs a systemic rethink in business model.
Increases in unemployment. This due to technological progress specifically in automation and in the future AI. Vast majority of current jobs will be obsolete in the next several decades. This poses a serious problem to society, and I am not optimistic in the hand waving notion of people will just create new jobs. Here I am an outright pessimist precisely because I am technological optimist. The ability for robots to replace humans in the vast majority of tasks currently being done by humans.
- Here I don’t believe there is a realistic solution to getting people more well earning jobs. I just don’t see how it’s possible with the rate of robotic technological innovation.
- Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) – Because I see no solution, I think the best outcome is humanity lives in a huge welfare like state where the minority work for a time, and it provides the resources for the rest to have a decent quality of life. A kind of technological Star Trek like utopia where nearly everyone stands around and talks all day, does scientific research, creative arts and exploration. People who derive value and meaning in their lives from doing “hard” work will be sorely disappointed. Kai-Fu Lee has written a good article about this and has an upcoming book on the subject. Andrew Yang has also written a good book on the subject of UBI.
Increases in inequality. The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. This has been a fact of life for nearly most of human history where humans have collected themselves and lived in large civilizations. This happens in hierarchical and networked like power structures. In networks it happens through something called ‘preferential attachment’. Corruption happens very easy at this stage of inequality. In some ways I don’t think financial inequality itself is an issue as long as everyone has their basic needs met and can pursue a relatively meaningful life. There is much more to life than wealth accumulation and after a certain point there are diminishing returns on happiness.
- Here again I haven’t seen any good solutions. Redistribution of wealth only goes so far. I think money is less of a problem than inequality in social/political power and influence. Here I believe safeguards need to be put in place by government so the fiscal power that comes with inequality isn’t abused and that social “fame” isn’t abused either.
- The Book Trade Wars are Class Wars lays out the issue better than I have seen anywhere else. The book unfortunately is short on solutions but the primary one seems to be curtailing the power/money grab by the elite. Increase minimum wage is a solution here as well but may require inter-national coordination…
- Improper assessment by the Fed and how that guides regulatory frameworks and monetary policy. For example looking at average income instead of median, looking at poor unemployment numbers, etc. as outlined by Karen Petrou in her book Engine of Inequality: The Fed and the Future of Wealth in America
Massive amount and overly complex regulations and legislation. Makes it hard for small business, large business can cope easier by having entire compliance departments, but still cost to society is high. Things such as tax law, permits to start xyz, bureaucracy bloat.
- Bureaucracy needs to be fixed. Not sure how this would be done.
- Estonia has a much more streamlined digital bureaucracy that could be a positive template.
- Cryptocurrency & hashgraph technology could help in this regard especially if the process of taxation and accounting was streamlined in some way.
Severe lack in Psycho-Spiritual evolution/Education
Here I see two primary zeitgeist trends.
- Wokeism – A trend that started largely in Academia specifically in 4th wave feminism and his spilled over into the rest of western society through the collective response to the COVID pandemic. The primary driver of wokeism appears to be large numbers of people caught in the “rescuer” role in The Karpman Triangle.
- Narcissism – Due to early developmental “trauma” of the self not being met and mirrored emotionally, a focus on the need to generate a false self to compensate is creating this epidemic. This “trauma” also creates a hyper-awareness of societal trends. The importance of online identity to maintaining connection and it’s expression through social media is reinforcing this condition. This is often seen through the proliferation of selfies.Solutions:
- Solution: See above – Advancements in Human Psychology and understanding.
- I believe long term this can be fixed by Somatic Developmental Psychology Education at all levels of society. Schools, Teachers, Parents, Businesses, Government Agencies and creating a new gold standard in the field of Psychotherapy, Counselling, Social Work and Coaching.
Corruption in developing nations is making it incredibly hard for them to get themselves out of poverty. Hernando De Soto makes the argument that it is primarily the lack of rule of law, in his landmark book “The Mystery of Capital”. Patrick Byrne thinks that using blockchain (Hedera Hashgraph would be better) can create a system of rule of law from the ground up creating a more transparent system of ownership and trade.
Transparency in general is thought to be the best way to combat corruption, and this is a case Eric Schmidt and many others make repeatedly. Open and free media/internet being the critical point here. Transparency International is doing doing some work in this regard, although I think further measures will likely be required.
One of the main issues I see facing the world, and on this issue it could be no more apparent is that of poor governance. Setting up a good government and bureaucracy free of corruption is really challenging! Here I think an education program that teaches those inclined to stewardship of society, good governance practice is of critical importance. Democracy in recent times has undermined these principles, as it has become a popularity contest based on wedge issues rather than intelligence in good governance. This is why I am more in favor of Singapore style political system, where the leaders need to be tested and vetted all the way to the top.
A Word on Progress
Progress itself across many dimensions is not a guarantee. Progress can stagnate and even reverse and civilization can fall. What are the factors that contribute to progress and why does it happen? There is much to this subject we don’t know and there is a call to action from Patrick Collison and Tyler Cohen to create a field of progress studies so we can better understand this field. Why don’t we have flying cars yet?
- We Need a New Science of Progress – Original Atlantic journal article
- The Roots of Progress – The work of Jason Crawford to begin to take a meta look at how progress occurs over long periods of time
- The work of Mariana Mazzucato on the incentive structures in society for progress
Foundations for a new Philosophical, Spiritual, Metaphysical & Scientific Paradigm
The following materials provide the spiritual & philosophical foundations:
- Pre-Beginner – A Course in Miracles & The Disappearance of the Universe
- Beginner – Conversations with God Book 1, 2 & 3
- Intermediate – Books & Video Lectures by Joseph Campbell and Alan Watts
- Advanced – The Seth Material
The following materials provide the scientific & metaphysical foundations:
- Quantum Physics – Multiple Worlds, Zero Worlds hypothesis
- Aether Sciences – work of Eric Dollard
- Psi Research – Dean Radin & Rupert Sheldrake
- Sacred Geometry – Schauberger, Walter Russel, Michael S. Schneider, Dan Winter
Grand Cosmological Synthesis
A project towards a unification model of the multidimensional universe or All That Is
The following is a meta-flowchart of a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the universe. It is the culmination of what I consider the best models and explanations put forward by various experts across many fields. These people that have put forth incredible ideas that are not very well known. In order to not continuously re-invent the wheel I highly recommend looking at their information. I find it astonishing that many experts in these areas are not even aware of ideas that compliment their life’s work.
(click for larger image)
Taking some liberties into account, each tier roughly represents a degree of synthesis. There is much overlap among disciplines so it’s not perfect, but you get the idea.
After spending many years researching a practical universal model is coming to the forefront. The intent is for this to be a road map that charts our way hierarchically to the apex of human understanding of the natural universe. A grand cosmology of sorts. I feel humanity has been severely handicapped by becoming overly reductionist and not being able to put ideas together. This site is an attempt to remedy that.
The Seth Material appears to be the ultimate most all-encompassing system of ideas. Anyone I have come across that has read large portions of the material (at least several books) has so far been unable to point me to something superior. It doesn’t answer all questions and there is a particular lack when it comes to delving into the dualities of creation and sacred geometry as well some of the more mechanistic aspects of the universe.
Other important foundational concepts: Duality, Golden Ratio, Phi, Fibonacci, Recursive Fractals, Myers-Briggs, Esoteric Religions – Taoism, Vedic
People and ideas I personally consider entry level and inferior to the above sources are: Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, Gregg Braden, Nassim Haramein, Marko Rodin, Kryon, A course in Miracles, David Wilcock and almost all religions in their popular forms.
Wai Tsang created a great chart showing the underlying spiritual unity of all the world’s great religions via the inner esoteric layers. The outer most layer is the exoteric which creates all the unnecessary ideological division on the planet.
I would like feedback on this. If you think there are people and/or ideas putting forth a superior all-encompassing cosmology please let me know.