Category Archives: Society

The Second Amendment and Nanobots

Saw this headline on Kurzweil this morning: The world’s first 3D-printed gun is a terrifying thing (The full story is here.) Are printable guns “terrifying?” At first glance, I would have to say no. At least not based on the fact that they are printed out. There are millions of guns out there and I […]

If You’re Not Paying, You’re the Product

The Problem They are exploiting us! Why we all work for Facebook for free On this understanding we can certainly position the users of Facebook as laborers. If labor is understood as ‘value producing activity’, then updating your status, liking a website, or ‘friending’ someone, creates Facebook’s basic commodity. It produces marketing data about you, […]

Loose Tweets Sink Fleets

Just last week we observed the 67th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy which marked a major turning point in World War II. In many ways, we live in a world that would be unrecognizable to the good folks of 1944. But they would be all too familiar with the sentiments of this […]

The Power of the Empowered

In a recent email exchange with a friend, I set out some of the reasons that, while I am not apolitical, I am less interested in politics as a means to achieving sweeping change than I am other channels, which I believe are more promising. Here’s part of that message: I used to be very […]

An Army of Big Brothers?

I took my first ever trip to Russia in 1993, working for telecom giant U S WEST (now QWEST) on rolling out a series of join-venture telecom startups. Our partners in these new venture companies were a combination of European equipment providers and local newly privatized Russian service providers. I got to spend quite a […]

A Note From "The Rational Optimist"

You got to love that the Kindle allows readers to write notes for books that can be retrieved at the Amazon site.  Here’s a note I wrote while reading Matt Ridley‘s “The Rational Optimist.” “One definition of the Technological Singularity is that point at which we achieve greater than human intelligence – in a single […]

Craigslist and Top Down vs. Bottom-Up

Cover via Amazon The conflict between the top-down and bottom-up models of organizing society has been a big part of our discussion on the past few editions of FastForward Radio. As outlined by Matt Ridley in The Rational Optimist, virtually all of human progress has been driven by a bottom-up process that starts when motivated […]

Computer / User Privilege?

At H+ Magazine, Brad Templeton outlines the case for giving computers a privileged status regarding our personal information not unlike that afforded to attorneys or priests. If we’re afraid our computers will betray us, we won’t be able to use them fully. The harm incurred by that loss must be balanced against the benefits of […]