Note — Nov 30, 2020

Postcards From the Future

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Because if you want efficiency, then you need a machine. Productivity is for robots. It’s not for humans. Humans excel at all the things that are inefficient. For example, science by definition is hugely inefficient. If you’re discovering the same thing, a hundred percent perfectly, you’re not learning anything. If you’re not making mistakes and having failures, you’re not going forward.
Marc Andreessen has a famous question, when he’s talking to entrepreneur-founder types. He likes to ask them what they do on their days off or for their hobby. He says the signal for what’s really new and up-and-coming is where the really busy people are wasting time, spending time for free, or giving their time, because that’s going to be the next frontier.
fairness is not necessarily efficient. We want governments to be fair, not necessarily efficient.
My view of an ideal copyright regime is that it does away with the idea of ownership. Ownership is just the absolutely incorrect model for thinking about ideas. Ideas cannot be owned. We can provide a temporary stewardship over something, but not ownership. Ownership works in real estate; it doesn’t work for intangibles.
And free speech. When you say something on Twitter, is it public? Is it private? Neither; it’s a third thing. And so what I’m suggesting is that we’re in this era now where we have a whole bunch of things that are the third thing and we’re still trying to govern them in an outdated binary way, as if it’s either a government or a corporation.
we have a misperception that intelligence is a single dimension. No, it’s a complicated multidimensional space of many different attributes, many different kinds of cognition, many different ways of thinking and solving problems.
This is why we’re having a conversation: it’s to be interrupted. I used to tell people at Wired, “Don’t come into Wired to work; work at home. Come into Wired to be interrupted and have chance meetings.” And so interruption is actually, I think, a crucial part of how we learn.
So imagine a New York City where not a single person living in the city was born there. China is experiencing something similar, because the people coming in are speaking different dialects. They speak a common language, but they grew up in different parts of the world. They are transforming their culture with immigrant energy.