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Imagining how mapping humans' intricate social networks.could better our lives, by e.g. detecting epidemics earlier than ever, from the spread of innovative ideas, to risky behaviours, to viruses.
The chart below imagines some worst case scenarios over the coming decades. There's no self-evident truth in this picture; it's just a scenario and some other scenario planners/futurists paint much rosier pictures.
During November 2013, we listened to and would recommend the following podcasts:
I see the hollow buildings hanging in the winter sun
Throwing empty shadows that hide the hollow men
The world just isn't real it's built on endless timeless time
On land marks in the desert wastes of multicoloured crime.
- from Legend, by Roy Harper
Our civilised world is nothing but a great masquerade. You encounter knights, parsons, soldiers, doctors, lawyers, priests, philosophers and a thousand more: but they are not what they appear - they are merely masks... . Usually, as I say, there is nothing but industrialists, businessmen and speculators concealed behind all these masks - Schopenhauer
Open societies - people act on basis of biased views but learn from experience and there is a critical process at work that tends to correct the bias so that while perfect knowledge remains unattainable, there is at least a tendency for thinking and reality to come closer together (101-02) Solid: Closed societies (Iran, Soviet Union) suffer from "static disequilibrium" - changes in the real world cannot change the unbending dogma. Gaseous: at the other end, things change so quickly that there are unintended consequences and events spin out of the participants' control (French, Industrial and comms/Internet revolutions all examples - DK) - leading to regime change - George Soros, The Crisis of Global Capitalism: Open Society Endangered
I don't want to be overly dramatic about it, but I think people more and more wonder, is this living, or are we just going through the motions? What's happening? Is everything being leached out of life? Is the whole texture and values and everything kind of draining away? - John Zerzan, Running on Emptiness: The Pathology of Civilisation
I appreciate people who are civil, whether they mean it or not. I think: Be civil. Do not cherish your opinion over my feelings. There's a vanity to candor that isn't really worth it. Be kind - Richard Greenberg