Introduction: Beyond Hope

I can’t help but think a combination of the following core ideas, technologies, and systems will lead to incredible transformations that go beyond any current conception of success, growth, or prosperity. What follows in this post is a list of things I’ve read and watched that go beyond hope, to lay the foundation for future technology that several people and companies are building, using tools that exist today.

Future Technology

Ranging from theories of exponential development, to cryptocurrency technologies, and finally to revolutionary solar energy systems, I’m thoroughly ecstatic whenever I think about the possibilities today.

(1) Exponential Development

The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organisations — by Ori Brafman & Rod A. Beckstrom.

So it turns out that unlike a spider, if you cut off one or all the arms of a starfish, they grow back; and the ones that were cut off can regenerate an entirely new creature because of its decentralisation of organs and mobility. The spider of course, at least an adult, becomes crippled if it loses an arm.

The authors argue that one of the most important trends in business, society, education and politics is the transition from centralised organisations of top down power control to more decentralised ones. And of course, this dichotomy is not necessarily so binary. Some spider organisations have management philosophies that are very much starfish like, making them hybrids of sorts.

With this background in mind, over time, it has become obvious to me why cryptocurrencies are more than just a passing fad for overambitious people who couldn’t care less about their hard earned money. It’s a very big deal. What excites me about this trend is that such starfish and hybrid organisations are leading the way towards harnessing the complex business and political environment today, in a way that creates exponential growth and impact. And the best part is that, the tools needed to be involved in such growth and impact are available to most people with an internet connection and a personal computer of some sort! What a time to be alive? I wonder if people a hundred years ago thought the same thing..

(2) Cryptocurrencies

The Internet of Money: A collection of talks by Andreas M. Antonopoulos: Volume 1.

This book is a collection of talks that have been delivered by Andreas over the last several years. At first, as I started listening to it, I did not like the idea of reorganising talks into an audiobook and having someone else narrate them. It seemed detached from the Andreas I came to know so well on YouTube. His energy, breadth of knowledge and enthusiasm drew me in. At one point, I even convinced my entire family to watch one of his presentations on the history of money and what Bitcoin is. Let’s just say, after a thirty minute talk, there were more confused looks and questions, with one of my brothers even leaving halfway through as he felt he already knew all that basic stuff. I was not deterred!

As I kept listening to this book, I started enjoying it. This book gave me a glimpse into a future that seems almost inevitable – a future that is radically different from the one I was able to imagine from the basic prior knowledge I had about Bitcoin.

Particularly striking was a section of the book where Andreas describes a reality where currency will essentially be an app, or more likely a collection of apps. In essence, he envisions a future wallet interface that seamlessly enables people to move between dozens of currencies for various types of decisions. Want to buy a house? Use bitcoin or something like it, as its the most suitable for such a transaction. Want to name a domain for that house? Some of your money is converted to Namecoin. Easy as 1, 2, 3 seconds – done! Meanwhile, the contract for the house has been paid for in ether. Want to tip a bartender for their service this morning? Doge it is! Admittedly such a reality will take a while to get to, and may not be as seamless as he envisions it, as John Lancaster points out in When Bitcoin Grows Up. However, as I continue to read and learn more about it, I’m excited to see it unfold, and determined to take at least one course to understand its technical nature.

(3) Solar Energy

In the first video that follows, I interview Dr. Achim Kempf about his work in the physics department at the University of Waterloo. This was over three years ago on an old channel of mine called Scholarly Videos. In the video, he exclaims that solar energy will undeniably take over as humanity’s primary source of energy to power homes, and the like. But strikingly, he also shares a powerful idea about the true potential of this thing we call the sun! Prepare to be mind blown.

What if we could move the sun? | Achim Kempf

This other video from TED speaks for itself.

A printable, flexible, organic solar cell | Hannah Bürckstümmer

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This is version 1.8.1 (based on edits) of this article. Over the next several weeks, it will be updated to provide a more complex picture that includes challenges to this future, and potential setbacks.

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