“If American business is going to survive, we are going to need hundreds, or even thousands, of miracles. This would be depressing but for one critical fact: humans are distinguished from other species by our ability to work miracles.

We call these miracles technology.

Technology is miraculous because it allows us to do more with less, ratcheting up our fundamental capabilities to a higher level. Other animals are instinctively drawn to build things like dams or honeycombs, but we are the only ones that can invent new things and better ways of making them.

Humans don’t decide what to build by making choices from some cosmic catalog of options given in advance; instead, by creating new technologies, we rewrite the plan of the world.

New technology has never been an automatic feature of history. Our ancestors lived in static, zero-sum societies where success meant seizing things from others. They created new sources of wealth only rarely, and in the long run they could never create enough to save the average person from an extremely hard life.

Then, after 10,000 years of fitful advance from primitive agriculture to medieval windmills and 16th-century astrolabes, the modern world suddenly experienced relentless technological progress from the advent of the steam engine in the 1760s all the way up to about 1970. As a result, we have inherited a richer society than any previous generation would have been able to imagine.”

“Zero to One: Notes on startups, or how to build the future” – Peter Thiel, with Blake Masters – 16.09.2014

 
 

“The Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (E.P.C.O.T) was a concept developed by Walt Disney near the end of his lifetime that went as far as elaborate visions and plans and the purchase of property near Orlando, Florida that eventually became the Walt Disney World resort, including Epcot (formerly known as EPCOT Center), a related concept transformed into a themepark. It was a “community of the future” that was designed to stimulate American corporations to come up with new ideas for urban living.

Of E.P.C.O.T, Walt Disney is quoted as saying, “E.P.C.O.T will take its cue from the new ideas and new technologies that are emerging from the forefront of American industry. It will be a community of tomorrow that will never be completed. It will always be showcasing and testing and demonstrating new materials and new systems.”

Walt’s original vision of E.P.C.O.T was for a model community, home to twenty thousand residents, which would be a test bed for city planning and organization. The community was to have been built in the shape of a circle, with businesses and commercial areas at its center, community buildings and schools and recreational complexes around it, and residential neighborhoods along the perimeter. Transportation would have been provided by monorails and PeopleMovers (like the one in the Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland).

Automobile traffic would be kept underground, leaving pedestrians safe above-ground. Walt Disney said, “It will be a planned, controlled community, a showcase for American industry and research, schools, cultural and educational opportunities.”

the-original-epcot.com

 

“The original model of this original vision of E.P.C.O.T can still be seen by passengers riding the Tomorrowland Transit Authority attraction in the Magic Kingdom park; when the PeopleMover enters the showhouse for Stitch’s Great Escape, the model of what was called “Progress City” is visible on the left (when facing forward) behind glass.

Disney passed away before the Magic Kingdom opened and his vision of E.P.C.O.T (the original project) was not realized.”

the-original-epcot.com

“To solve the problem of soul-destroying traffic, roads must go 3D, which means either flying cars or tunnels. Unlike flying cars, tunnels are weatherproof, out of sight and won’t fall on your head. A large network of tunnels many levels deep would help alleviate congestion in any city, no matter how large it grew (just keep adding levels).

The key to making this work is increasing tunneling speed and dropping costs by a factor of 10 or more – this is the goal of The Boring Company. Fast to dig, low cost tunnels would also make Hyperloop adoption viable and enable rapid transit across densely populated regions, enabling travel from New York to Washington DC in less than 30 minutes.”

boringcompany.com

His world is under observation —
We monitor his station
Under faces and the places
Where he traces points of view

 
 

He picks up scraps of conversation —
Radio and radiation
From the dancers and romancers
With the answers — but no clue

He’d love to spend the night in Zion
He’s been a long while in Babylon
He’d like a lover’s wings to fly on
To a tropic isle of Avalon

 
 

His world is under anaesthetic —
Subdivided and synthetic
His reliance on the giants
In the science of the day

He picks up scraps of information —
He’s adept at adaptation
‘Cause for strangers and arrangers
Constant change is here to stay

 
 

He’s got a force field and a flexible plan
He’s got a date with fate in a black sedan
He plays fast forward for as long as he can
But he won’t need a bed —
He’s a digital man

“Digital Man” – Rush – 09.09.1982

 

II. Digital Perfection

 

“Ironically, in an age of instant global connection, my certainty about anything has decreased. Rather than receiving truth from an authority, I am reduced to assembling my own certainty from the liquid stream of facts flowing through the web. Truth, with a capital T, becomes truths, plural. I have to sort the truths not just about things I care about, but about anything I touch, including areas about which I can’t possibly have any direct knowledge.

That means that in general I have to constantly question what I think I know. We might consider this state perfect for the advancement of science, but it also means that I am more likely to have my mind changed for incorrect reasons.

While hooked into the network of networks I feel like I am a network myself, trying to achieve reliability from unreliable parts.

And in my quest to assemble truths from half-truths, nontruths, and some noble truths scattered in the flux, I find my mind attracted to

fluid
ways
of
thinking

(scenarios, provisional belief, subjective hunches)

and
toward
fluid
media
like
mashups,
twitterese,
and search.”

“The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future” – Kevin Kelly – 06.2016

 

 
 

 

NYTimes.com LINK) & newafrikan77.wordpress.com (LINK)

 

“Our growing dependence on technologies no one seems to understand or control has given rise to feelings of powerlessness and victimization. We find it more and more difficult to achieve a sense of

continuity,
permanence,
or connection with the world around us.

Relationships with others are notably fragile; goods are made to be used up and discarded;

reality is experienced as an
unstable
environment
of flickering images.

Everything conspires to encourage escapist solutions to the psychological problems of

dependence,
separation,
and individuation,

and to discourage the moral realism that makes it possible for human beings to come to terms with existential constraints on their power and freedom.”

“Culture of Narcissism: American Life In An Age Of Diminishing Expectations (Afterword)” – Christopher Lasch – 06.04.1991

 

“The cities are always living in the future. I remember when our little town got our first Chinese restaurant and, 20 years later, its first fancy coffee shop. All of this stuff had turned up in movies (set in L.A., of course) decades earlier.

 
 

I remember watching ’80s movies and mocking the “Valley Girl” stereotypes — young girls from, like, California who would, like, say, “like” in between every third word. Twenty years later, you can hear me doing the same in every Cracked podcast. The cancer started in L.A. and spread to the rest of America.

Well, the perception back then was that those city folks were all turning atheist, abandoning church for their bisexual sex parties. That, we were told, was literally a sign of the Apocalypse.

 
 

Not just due to the spiritual consequences (which were dire), but the devastation that would come to the culture. I couldn’t imagine any rebuttal. In that place, at that time, the church was everything.

Church was where you made friends, met girls, networked for jobs, got social support. The poor could get food and clothes there, couples could get advice on their marriages, addicts could try to get clean.

 
 

But now we’re seeing a startling decline in Christianity among the general population, the godless disease having spread alongside Valley Girl talk. So according to Fox News, what’s the result of those decadent, atheist, amoral snobs in the cities having turned their noses up at God?

Chaos.

The fabric has broken down, they say, just as predicted. And what rural Americans see on the news today is a sneak peek at their tomorrow.

 
 

The savages are coming.

Blacks riot, Muslims set bombs, gays spread AIDS, Mexican cartels behead children, atheists tear down Christmas trees.

Meanwhile, those liberal Lena Dunhams in their $5,000-a-month apartments sip wine and say, “But those white Christians are the real problem!”

Terror victims scream in the street next to their own severed limbs, and the response from the elites is to cry about how men should be allowed to use women’s restrooms and how it’s cruel to keep chickens in cages.

 
 

Madness. Their heads are so far up their asses that they can’t tell up from down.

Basic, obvious truths that have gone unquestioned for thousands of years now get laughed at and shouted down — the fact that hard work is better than dependence on government, that children do better with both parents in the picture, that peace is better than rioting, that a strict moral code is better than blithe hedonism, that humans tend to value things they’ve earned more than what they get for free, that not getting exploded by a bomb is better than getting exploded by a bomb.

Or as they say out in the country, ‘Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining’.”

“How Half of America Lost Its F**king Mind” – David Wong – 12.10.2016 (LINK)

 

“Nobody wants a motorcar till there are motorcars, and nobody is interested in TV until there are TV programs. This power of technology to create its own world of demand is not independent of technology being first an extension of our own bodies and senses. When we are deprived of our sense of sight, the other senses take up the role of sight in some degree. But the need to use the senses that are available is as insistent as breathing—a fact that makes sense of the urge to keep radio and TV going more or less continuously.

The urge to continuous use is quite independent of the “content” of public programs or of the private sense life, being testimony to the fact that technology is part of our bodies. Electric technology is directly related to our central nervous systems, so it is ridiculous to talk of “what the public wants” played over its own nerves. This question would be like asking people what sort of sights and sounds they would prefer around them in an urban metropolis!

Once we have surrendered our senses and nervous systems to the private manipulation of those who would try to benefit from taking a lease on our eyes and ears and nerves, we don’t really have any rights left. Leasing our eyes and ears and nerves to commercial interests is like handing over the common speech to a private corporation, or like giving the earth’s atmosphere to a company as a monopoly.

Something like this has already happened with outer space, for the same reasons that we have leased our central nervous systems to various corporations. As long as we adopt the Narcissus attitude of regarding the extensions of our own bodies as really out there and really independent of us, we will meet all technological challenges with the same sort of bananaskin pirouette and collapse.

Archimedes once said, ‘Give me a place to stand and I will move the world.’ Today he would have pointed to our electric media and said, ‘I will stand on your eyes, your ears, your nerves, and your brain, and the world will move in any tempo or pattern I choose.’ We have leased these ‘places to stand’ to private corporations.”

“Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man” – Marshall McLuhan – 1964

 

I. Analog Iteration (link)
II. Digital Perfection (current)
III. Peaceable Kingdom (next) – STRONG CONTENT