In the Unabomber Manifesto, Section 212 always remained unfulfilling to me.
Would society EVENTUALLY develop again toward an industrial-technological form? Maybe, but there is no use in worrying about it, since we can’t predict or control events 500 or 1,000 years in the future. Those problems must be dealt with by the people who will live at that time.
That issue is why the “Freedom Club” revolution isn’t appealing. Genies do not go back in boxes. Similar to the communist manifesto, while problems are correctly identified, the solution leaves something to be desired.
Ran Prieur takes technology and breaks it down in a more nuanced way than I think about it. I’m going to focus on a single axis.
Compare Waymo to comma. In one, you need cooperation from a society, in the other you don’t. One is a complex system that depends on industry and loses it’s usefulness out of context. The other is a complex self contained system.
A woman in a forest can create a supercomputer. This computer is off the grid, will last for 40+ years, has petaflops of compute power, and is self repairing. It exists in harmony with nature. It is non-toxic.
The smartphone is a marvel. The network, a nightmare. As well as the society needed to produce it.
If all our world died tomorrow, from COVID-22 or something, we would leave behind godshatter. Relics with untold power. Imagine finding all that’s left is a smartphone. Useless without a solar charger, but add one and it’s a most valuable relic. And if they downloaded wikipedia offline, the discovery of that phone will allow you to rebuild it. Can we bootstrap faster?
That’s godshatter of the information age. A handheld device that allowed you to breathe underwater. A phaser. A portable device that could construct houses. The doctor’s mobile emitter. A machine that pulls the water from the air. A handheld flying machine. An arc reactor. All ruined if you have to connect to WiFi.
Why does anyone want Waymo? We need to decentralize the world, not build brittle systems that leak power. A Waymo network can be used for evil if evil people are at the controls. The Bitcoin blockchain has no controls. Every gun fires when its owner pulls the trigger, owned by millions. We’d live in a better world if nuclear weapons weren’t possible, owned by tens.
Can we build technology without industry? I fantasize about living in a forest with my AI girlfriend while we probe the universe. What pathetic losers are building Twitter and Facebook. That’s practically industry without technology. And they have the nerve to call themselves technology companies.
Ask yourself this. Am I building technology to further centralize or decentralize power?
Power is beautiful. Using energy to create order is the highest calling of God. Energy use isn’t bad! Uniform rectangular buildings are bad. Industrial chemical factories are bad. Humans are good.
I’ve been learning biology. It’s unreal how amazing the technology to build humans is. Only now are we close with our stack. Human DNA is 6 GB. That’s a DVD. In 1970, you couldn’t store 6GB. Today, I can copy it in seconds on my M1 SSD. That’s actually faster than nature.
Biology is non-toxic. Biology is efficient. Biology is beautiful. Biology is technology.
Biology is not centralized. Biology is not alien. Biology is not rectangular. Biology is not industrial.
STOP BUILDING SHITTY TECHNOLOGY.
If it centralizes power, it’s bad. If it decentralizes power, it’s good. Build technology that is inextricable from its narrative. Build technology that will give us freedom, not enslavement.
One axis to consider. Does this centralize or decentralize power? The power itself is unstoppable. How we divide it is a choice.
I wish I had a more concrete plan. But for the love of God, if you build technology, consider this axis. Build the wrong technology, and we will live in an eternal prison.