A FUTURE DECENTRALIZED
We are on the verge of massive societal change brought upon by technologies so unique in their nature they will seem almost unbelievable. Life on our planet will soon be far different than it is today. Our progeny will look upon us in the same manner in which we look upon the caveman. We are entering a new age: The Age of Decentralization. The Age of Decentralization will be defined by the Empowered Individual, a world in which Man lives in economic abundance and answers to no one, neither a central authority nor his fellow man, a world in which Man may perhaps begin to consider himself a God King.
Those who are interested in the Technological Singularity, Accelerationism, Technological Libertarianism and Crypto Anarchy should become well versed in the Age of Decentralization – as should those who are merely interested in Futurism and Philosophy.
The story of our Decentralized Age begins with some rather elementary economics…
GENERAL PURPOSE TECHNOLOGIES
In economic theory, there is the concept of the general purpose technology (GPT), technology upon which other technologies rely. Think of a GPT as you would a tree. A tree allows us to create lumber, lumber allows us to create houses and houses allow us to create civilization.
General purpose technologies lay at the root of all our economic activities. Change them and you change everything. Destroy them and you destroy everything. Control them and you control everything.
There are six General Purpose Technologies that truly power civilization.
Communication allows for bargaining, spurring on economic activity. Transportation is used to move goods around. Energy is used in the creation process. Money is typically one half of all trades. Information lays at the heart of all things. Indeed, Man cannot create anything without knowledge. Materials are used to create goods. Indeed, previous paradigms have been named after materials: The Stone Age, The Bronze Age and The Iron Age.
THE 3RD WORLD
GPTs replace human “activity” with human “productivity” by multiples, meaning that GPT’s offer people the technological tools to vastly increase their productivity without having to increase their activity.
We are led to believe that hard work matters. It does not – at least not in terms of our economic output. Technology is what matters the most – at least historically speaking. So bound are men to the General Purpose Technologies of their time that even a core concept of human life such as work ethic has little to no impact or correlation with Man’s economic wellbeing when measured against the technologies at his disposal. It does not matter how hard you work, or how cooperative your society, it does not matter if your society is liberal or conservative; the economic prosperity of your civilization rests on these 6 great pillars, among others. You are considered a 3rd world country if you are devoid of the latest GPTs.
We need to transform the General Purpose Technologies (GPT’s) of yesterday in order to reach a “New Age” or “New Paradigm”. And indeed, we are in the midst of doing so.
- Energy is going from Oil to Solar
- Transportation is going from Cars to autonomous transportation
- Communication is going from Telephones to the Internet
- Money is being converted from FIAT currency to crypto-currency.
- Information Storage, in the form of books and libraries, will become digital assets.
- Materials such as iron and plastic will give way to new groups of mono-layered materials such as graphene.
A new world – a new Paradigm – is being born right before our very eyes. The new world will be remarkable, a world in which Man has material abundance and is freer than ever before. And yet, only by examining paradigms past will we gain a proper perspective into Paradigms’ future. We must go back in time to truly understand the significance of the new age we are entering. To truly appreciate how far Man will soon go, we must first understand just how far he has come…
Paradigm 1: Maiden Man
(Dawn of Man / 200,000 BC – 50,000 BC)
The 1st humans arrived 100,000 – 200,000 years ago – perhaps even half a million years ago. They could not talk; their communication consisted of grunts and gestures. Their transportation was their feet. Their energy supply came from edible flora and fauna. Their building materials were Mud and Trees.
The General Purpose Technologies of Paradigm 1 were all derived from our natural state, one in which we possessed no technology. Basic GPT’s lead to a humble lifestyle. One cannot build wealth in a world in which they grunt, walk, hunt and gather, have no money mechanism and use mud to build.
Paradigm 2: Stone Age Humans
50,000 BC until 5,000
The Humans living with Paradigm 2 technologies could communicate via language and no longer grunted at one another. They used fire much better. They most likely discovered barter and trade. Transportation may have included riding animals. They may have been able to build the simplest of rafts. They began to use stones to build magnificent edifices such as Stonehenge and the Pyramids.
Most importantly, they had realized that they did not have to live solely by way of their divine gifts but instead could live more comfortably by way of tools created from divine inspiration. Man now knew that He could invent his way to change – which would lay the foundation for everything to come…
5000 BC – 1400 AD
Mankind does take a giant leap forward each and every time a new paradigm is reached by way of divine discovery. Paradigm 3 humans had learned how to read and write. They had invented the wheel. They had seafaring vessels. They now used candles for lighting, plant oils and dung for energy. They had discovered what may be the ultimate means by which to store wealth and exchange value in the form of gold and silver. They used bronze tools and cement to build wonderful edifices and structures such as aqueducts.
Paradigm 4: (1st Industrial Revolution)
1400 – 1850
Were the Ottomans really so different from the Romans or the Spanish from the Egyptians? What did any possess that their counterparts possessed not?
Indeed, humanity hardly changed from 2500 BC until the 1400’s. Then, we took a major leap forward in our ability to communicate. We invented the printing press, which set information free. Later on came the telegraph which gave Man the ability to transmit messages at ultra high speeds. We engineered the steam engine and then used it to power trains and ships. Paper money was also being used regularly. Carpenters and woodworkers, the world over, began their mastery over lumber.
Paradigm 5: (2nd Industrial Revolution)
1850 – 1990
We continued our trend of creating faster and more energy intensive technologies in Paradigm 5. The galloping horse and its 20 MPH gait gave way to much faster cars. Mankind had instantaneous communication in the form of Phones, Radios and the Television. Messages that would take months to travel a few hundred miles could be sent at the speed of light. Humans discovered an energy supply that would change the world: Oil. Buildings made of tensile steel could touch the sky.
THE HISTORY OF OUR TECHNOLOGICAL TRANSFORMATION
FROM CAVEMAN TO GOD KINGS
We so often presume that thousands of technologies need to change in order for society to change. And yet our technical advancement may be far less complex. Man’s technological transformation is tied to a change in the General Purpose Technologies in six sectors.
Remarkably, each sector has changed but four times throughout our grand history. Astonishingly, all it took for Man to go from caveman to would be God King is 4 leaps in technology in six sectors.
Our examination of history reveals the following: We have lived through 5 paradigms distinct. To know them is to know our history.
The Communication Sector: What was once strictly an oral phenomenon became written text placed on tablets and papers before being turned into digital signals that could travel at the speed of light.
The Transportation Sector: We once could only use our feet to get anywhere. We then realized that we could use the legs of beasts such as horses and camels that were much more adept at swiftly traveling longer distances faster. Eventually, we encased ourselves in materials and built engines that could travel faster than any biological creature.
The Energy Sector: Human existence was originally powered by food and the calories derived thereof. We then discovered energy sources that were far more dense, sources such as timber, dung and fossil fuels.
The Money Sector: 1st Man had no use for money since all transactions took place amongst family. We then turned to barter, IOU’s and commodity currencies. Paper money was eventually used as a store of information. Now, digital currencies facilitate global trade.
The Information Sector: Originally, we could only store information in our analog brain. Eventually, we learned how to store information on materials that could be copied and shared, allowing all of humanity to access individual discovery, taking us to a point in time wherein a leap forward for one meant a leap forward for all.
Materials: Natural materials such as wood and mud have given way to materials with distinct building properties which have allowed us to build both larger and smaller items.
How amazing is it to see the transformation between one paradigm to another occur throughout our history. And yet, it is far more intoxicating to know that the next big transformational wave has already begun to take place.
We are standing at the doorstep of Paradigm 6, on the verge of saying hello to Decentralized Man…
PARADIGM 6: THE INFORMATION AGE
1990 to 2050
Paradigm 5 is slowly but surely transforming into Paradigm 6. The communications apparatus of the 19th Century was the first to fall. The internet has all but replaced our previous modes of communication – the phone, television, etc, etc. Cars will soon become autonomous cars and drones. Fossil fuels will be replaced by solar technologies. FIAT, paper dollars will become cryptocurrencies. Libraries and books and brains will be replaced by databases. Graphene or another monolayer material may become our building material of choice.
Each replacement technology is already here, ready to ripen. Thereby, thrusting Mankind into a new paradigm.
Entering a new paradigm is both fascinating and exhilarating on its own. And yet there are two primary reasons as to why our new Age – or Paradigm – will be especially distinct from our past paradigm shifts.
- REASON A: The Rate of Change
- REASON B: Decentralization vs Centralization
RE REASON A: THE RATE OF CHANGE
The world is moving faster.
Those who are well versed in the Technological Singularity, Accelerationism and the Law of Accelerating Returns are familiar with the concept of exponential change. For the uninitiated, the central thesis states that change begets faster change, ad infinitum. We build upon that which we already know. Market forces and Darwinian forces compel us into acquiring new knowledge which is always better, cheaper and faster. Better, cheaper and faster produces more life and not less life, more ROI and not less ROI; and thus, the system is optimizing for these attributes.
Is our technological progress random or does it follow an inherent logic? How do we prove that Man is progressing at an exponential rate? Indeed, some will argue that perhaps the medieval Man regarded his life as ever changing; therefore, he too would have believed he was on the verge of the Technological Singularity had such a concept existed. We need a mechanism by which to prove our claim of technological acceleration. We believe that one need only turn to the General Purpose Technologies possessed by Man to realize that progress is indeed occurring faster.
An examination of Paradigm 1 vs Paradigm 2 reveals the following: It took at least 100,000 years to go from our original communication method – grunting – to our second communication method – the spoken word. It took us less time to add our third communication method – the written word. However, an examination of Paradigm 5 vs Paradigm 6 reveals that it took us much less time to go from the telegraph and telephone to the internet as compared to grunting vs speaking. Add into it the fact that computer languages or programming languages are being either created or are evolving even faster than human languages and you get a real sense of our acceleration in terms of communication. Thus, Man is indeed progressing faster now than ever before.
Remarkably, we can make the same claim in regards to the rate of change about all our major General Purpose Technologies. It took hundreds of thousands of years to go from transportation via ambulation to transportation via the wheel; but it will only take a century plus to go from transportation via a car to transportation via an autonomous drone.
A second means by which we can prove that change is exponential is by examining the rate of change from one Paradigm to another.
It may have taken hundreds of thousands of years to get from Paradigm 1 to 2. It took a few centuries to shift from Paradigm 4 to Paradigm 5. Therefore, we should predict – and anticipate – that progress will continue to accelerate. Paradigm 6 will appear shortly and then perhaps rapidly give way to paradigm 7, where our mode of transportation may become orbital spacecrafts and our communication method may evolve into telepathic quantum entanglement.
Once a paradigm shifts, society soon follows. Nearly everything about the way we live becomes anew. This time, change will be exponential. Are we ready to witness our entire human landscape change right before our very eyes? Are we ready to live foreign lives? A new society will soon arise. A remarkable transformation, indeed.
RE REASON B: DECENTRALIZED VS CENTRALIZED
A second, and more profound distinction between Paradigm 6 and our previous Paradigms – especially Paradigm 5 – is the fact that Paradigm 6 will be by and large comprised of decentralized technologies. Vertically integrated companies of yesteryear that owned nearly everything will disappear.
The distinction between centralized and decentralized cannot be overstated. It is as big of a difference as hot and cold, ocean and desert, liberty and tyranny. It is not merely a difference in degree, but a difference in kind.
OF MONOPOLY MEN
Technologies stemming from the Industrial Revolution (Paradigm 5) were personified by the monopolization of its General Purpose Technologies – whether by way of an oil baron, a telecom giant, a Central Banker, big auto or big steel. Control over GPT’s meant control over the common man.
We cannot so clearly see who will be the owners of industry in Paradigm 6, especially in an uber competitive global market where products and ideas come from everywhere. Indeed, no one man cannot own the Sun, or all the cars, or the internet or control a cryptocurrency.
Soon, the common man may perhaps become the prime owner of each powerful technology. Each Paradigm 5 technology gained efficiency when centralized; thus, bigger was better. The exact opposite holds true for Paradigm 6. The technologies do not offer the same economies of scale, rather they are governed by diseconomies of scale; thus, small will beat large – a small car company, a small power producer, etc etc.
THE EMPOWERED YOU
Do you love liberty, individualism and personal empowerment? If yes, then you will want to see nothing more than a decentralized world. Thus, the following should bring you a sense of joy: Central powers, like Governments and large corporations, will not control the future. They will not be able to control the prime technologies that power the future. The building blocks upon which society will stand will be powered by individual nodes bereft of gatekeepers. Humanity will again resemble nature, as in it will be mostly peer-to-peer and devoid of unnecessary middlemen or a vast parasite class.
Let us briefly touch upon each sector, comparing decentralized GPT’s of Paradigm 6 with their centralized counterparts from Paradigm 5. (Show P5 V P6)
Communication: Information dissemination is central to Man’s existence. Our prior communication method, Mass Media, was completely controlled, which led to the Age of Propaganda and group think. The internet allows mankind to freely communicate across the globe at light speed without any gatekeeper changing or altering information so as to program your mind.
We present a more thorough examination of communication and its effects on society in our work: The Story of Your Enslavement and Emancipation.
Transportation: He who owns the roads owns you. Soon, we will not rely on roads. Decentralized autonomous drones will take Man anywhere and everywhere, allowing him to reach new heights with a new state of mind that is congruent with one who has few limitations.
We present a more thorough examination of the transportation sector in various works:
- A Man and His Drone,
- AGE OF AI: Who will Own All the Cars?
- Future Technology: The Autonomous Transportation Network
Energy: We will reach a world in which we have abundant energy at our fingertips. No one Man controls the Sun. The democratization of energy will do wonders for humanity whereas centralized fossil fuels have left Mankind in endless wars, wars meant to control a scarce resource inextricably tied to a debt based currency, namely the Petrodollar.
Money: Centralized, FIAT Currencies devoid of competition have long been the bane of Man’s existence, an abomination, stunting his development. Decentralized Cryptocurrencies or decentralized energy money will allow Man to flourish, freeing commerce and trade in ways unimaginable.
Information: Man will store information everywhere in the Age of Decentralization – underground, underwater, on mountain tops, on winged creatures and on beasts. No longer will you have to rely on controlled libraries and schools or an information network owned by media moguls who answer to authorities unknown. Distributed databases strewn across the globe will give every human access to the most powerful of all commodities: Knowledge.
When information is free, you are free.
When information has Masters, you become a Slave.
Materials: Synthetic materials belonging to modernity are quite difficult to decentralize. In Paradigm 5, scarcity forced commodity materials to centralize and monopolize due to price wars and economies of scale.
Can Man return to his roots of self reliance by owning all the materials he may ever need or want, as he once did during the Stone Age or his time as a hunter and gatherer? Will future man be able to build primarily using materials from his own property; thus, allowing him to fully decentralize?
Perhaps 3D printers can soon create a good majority of Man’s analog wants from everyday organic compounds growing on his property.
Perhaps one day every man will own a spacecraft that he uses to mine asteroids; thus, giving him ownership of material abundance. Better still, Man may turn to organic chemistry or synthetic biology to bring about the equal disbursement of building materials amongst men. We have only begun to crack the genetic code so as to begin our dominance and manipulation of the global genome. Imagine if you will a time wherein every man possessed a biolab or biofoundry that converted everyday organic compounds into the most complex of building materials. Such dreams are surely the promise of gene manipulation and bioengineering.
ENERGY AND SPEED:
THE LINES THAT DIVIDE
It is not race or religion or ethnicity but instead it is Paradigms created by General Purpose Technologies that are the true dividing lines between men. On each side of a paradigm resides a man distinct in his relationship with nature and his fellow man. New General Purpose Technologies allow Man to access more energy and gadgetry with advanced speed as he moves forward through history. In fact, Paradigms can be characterized by energy and speed.
Energy and information are the prime variables of life – see our God Kings series for more details. Notably, each and every Paradigm contains an exponential gain in both Energy and the speed at which Information can propagate throughout the network. Additionally, the rate at which we are discovering exponentially magnified sources of energy and information are increasing. Mankind is not only acquiring more energy and information, but he is doing so at an exponentially faster rate. He will not only have more in the future, but the future of tomorrow will arrive faster than the future of yesteryear.
Paradigms are the builders of new civilizations, ones completely distinct from their predecessors. Change them and you will indeed change everything.
We live in a relativistic universe. Greatness remains undefined. Sadly, we can only judge our greatness by comparing ourselves to others. We find certain countries wanting not because we have a true definition of greatness, but because we can clearly see that they possess not that of their neighbors.
As an example: The Egyptians of antiquity were considered the preeminent society of their time because they had advanced General Purpose Technologies that their contemporaries did not have. They used chariots when others moved by foot. They used hieroglyphs when others had no writing. They built with massive stones when others erected structures using mud. Undoubtedly, Pharaonic Egypt was in Paradigm 3 while a good majority of the world lagged behind in Paradigm 2, or worse Paradigm 1.
It does not matter that many Egyptians today have more than Pharaonic Egypt. Today’s Egyptians languish in Paradigm 4, or worse. They do not have what many of their contemporaries possess; therefore, they are considered “3rd World” by our current standards.
Our Egyptian history lesson was a reminder as to how the mighty can indeed fall. Soon, the first shall be last, and the last shall become the first, as some nations begin to adapt to the latest General Purpose Technologies while others do not.
The Decentralized Society of Tomorrow has yet to be built. Who will be the first nation to decentralize? Which civilization will be the first to adapt to our new Paradigm and build a nation founded on the principles of decentralization? Thereby, gaining a first mover advantage and trumping its contemporaries and rivals as England once did when she was the first to implement the technologies of Paradigm 4. More recently, it was the United States who was the first to implement the technologies of Paradigm 5; whereupon, she established global dominance.
Perhaps the next great civilization, the one that dominates Paradigm 6, will be comprised of global, Digital Nomads whose political system is built atop the internet – A Federated Collective of Sovereign Individuals. Perhaps these Ubermensch who can earn wealth from anywhere and everywhere will be the most adaptable to the decentralized technologies of Paradigm 6. Thusly, they will be the most capable of building the world of tomorrow.
Conversely, which countries will attempt to suppress the technologies of Paradigm 6, unable to learn from lessons past which clearly show that fighting the future and change leaves a nation in shambles, making it not only economically weak but ripe for conquest by advanced nations who had the foresight to ride the wave of technological change instead of resisting modernity.
OF NATIONAL DOMINANCE
GPTS’ and Paradigms have an asymmetric influence on civilization. Economically speaking, they matter the most. Therefore, decisions involving GPT’s will be multiplied in the years forthcoming; consequences to actions or inactions will be magnified.
As we evolve to a new paradigm, Nations considered 1st world today will lose their standing on the global totem pole if they do not quickly adapt to the new technological benchmarks. The difference between a Paradigm 5 society and a Paradigm 6 society will be that of today’s 1st world and 3rd world.
There may be a discrepancy to Paradigm 6, one that we must address and underscore.
First Man lived in a world in which humans were all but equal, a world in which Nations were all but equal. Then, the laws of nature led to an asymmetric or unequal distribution of information. Subsequently, some Men and Nations knew what others knew not; thus, they did possess technology and expertise better than that of their neighbors. In a world governed by the Axiom “do unto others before they do unto you” said advantages were used to enslave (subjugate) their fellow man, in many cases. Paradigm 6 may have no technological leader or leaders, no Nation to rule them all. All Nation may perhaps revert to the mean due to the nature of information proliferation on the internet. Paradigm 6 may return humanity to the world of First Man, wherein mankind is all but equal, a world in which all Men know that which their fellow man does know.
For the first time since perhaps Paradigm 1, all Men and Nations have a chance to belong to a Paradigm simultaneously.
TECHNOLOGY & LIBERTY
Technology is the bedrock upon which civilization is built. The new GPT’s of society will power a revolution in liberty. Life on planet Earth will be quite different as we head towards the Technological Singularity. Everything is about to change.
The Age of Decentralization may also be regarded as the Age of Technological Libertarianism. We are of the belief system that Mankind is on the verge of technological anarchy, also referred to as crypto-anarchy. Databases and machines will replace the Governments and Institutions that we have grown accustomed to. The technological advancements of Mankind will lead to more liberty (Individualism). Liberty begets technology which begets liberty which begets technology. The process will continue ad infinitum, attempting to decentralize every aspect of our existence, attempting to free man from every entity: his country, his peers, his religion and even himself through transhumanism and mind uploads.
THE OLD WORLD VERSUS THE NEW WORLD
Paradigm 5 had centralized technologies. Thus, it was always destined to hand power over to only a few. The technologies aided and abetted the gatekeepers of civilization in building a centralized system that benefited the few and not the many. The technologies allowed Men to further create mechanisms by which to control Men. Slowly but surely the Ruling Elite built a mechanistic, cradle to grave society geared to maximize the following: chiefly, money printing, your economic productivity and your compliance.
Our new decentralized technologies will not be ally to the elites. Rather, they will be foe to the old guard. It will be far more difficult to control humans in Paradigm 6. Decentralized technologies will allow the masses to roam free, armed with new choices and new possibilities, adding more variability to the system – perhaps what some may even consider to be chaos.
PERMISSIONLESS. INDEPENDENT. OFF GRID
Decentralized Man will not be like his predecessors. Decentralized Man will be self reliant, connected to the world at large while remaining an individual.
Centralized Technologies stemming from the Industrial Revolution (Paradigm 5) led to a type of Man that constantly needed to ask for permission in order to travel, learn, build and trade. The 19th Century Man was reliant on a system controlled by other men for his sustenance, survival and wellbeing. He required another man’s education system, his communication system, his currency, his advertising network, his roads, etc etc. He had to play by another man’s rules in order to gain financial freedom or rise within the hierarchy. The Decentralized Man of Paradigm 6 will be his polar opposite. The new man will rely not on others for his survival. He will have abundant energy and information – the prime movers of life – at his disposal. He may also perhaps have abundant materials from which to build. A man and his drone will be capable of going anywhere devoid of roadblocks. Crypto-currencies will allow him to trade freely with anyone across the globe. He will become independently wealthy beyond his wildest dreams without ever leaving the comfort of his home. And the world of Artificial Intelligence created by the decentralized internet will give Man access to a powerful, super intelligent ally and friend, a protector in an adversarial world, who will further aid in his decision making. Man will be able to feed, educate and defend himself via our new and remarkable technologies. And he will be able to do so in a manner that is on par with the remainder of society, armed with the most technologically advanced tools of his time, previously possessed only by governments and large institutions.
Unlike his predecessor, Decentralized Man will not have to sacrifice modernity to go “off grid” in order to remain free of the system (or collective). Decentralized Man will have the best of both worlds, able to partake in the system – or collective – without being a slave to the system – or collective, since the system (or collective) will belong to no man or group. Thus, he is to be a man feared and fearful – for he will not have the societal restraints of his fathers and may perhaps become corrupted by power…
We explore Decentralized Man and “The Permissionless Society” in greater detail in our work: God Kings
OF CHANGE AND WAR
Drastically changing society will have major implications on humanity, for better and for worse. Entrenched powers could send the world into chaotic conflict. Indeed, we have seen wars each and every time we have changed paradigms in the past. Global revolutions welcomed Paradigm 4. WW2 welcomed Paradigm 5. Unfortunately, it seems as if creative destruction comes with the ultimate sacrifice.
Those with power will not go quietly into the night; nor should they – so sayeth life. They will attempt to centralize that which naturally wishes to decentralize. And yet they will have no option but to give way. The Age of Decentralization is not a revolution. The Age of Decentralization is an evolution. Universal forces are shifting Man from one paradigm to another, changing him from one form to another.
LIBERTY IN THE 21ST CENTURY: YOU AND THE NEW WORLD
The world of masters and overlords is dying. A new age of liberty is forming. This new age will be unlike any other. A peer to peer world will emerge. You will have the right of Individual Sovereignty. You will be your own ruler. Each technology from Paradigm 6 will add to your liberty and individual independence. The stage will be set for your unmitigated power and material abundance. What will you do with it?
The new, decentralized world will be a liberated world, one in which every Man is capable of pursuing his own self interests. You will be empowered with infinite energy, information and transportation. You will be able to 3D print whatever you choose, a house, weaponry or even your own food. You will not work for anyone, only yourself. You may not work at all, allowing your Robo-slaves to labor in your stead.
Man’s journey in this universe has never been a material one, rather a psychological and spiritual one. Material abundance and unmitigated independence will surely not be utopia, but rather a soulless journey through materialism. And yet, it is awe inspiring to know that there is a strange new world out there that we are on the cusp of fully embracing – so sayeth Accelerationism. It is amazing to know that we will see a new Paradigm rise right before our very eyes prior to midcentury. It is amazing to know that we have already crossed the event horizon, drawing us ever closer to this brave new world of Paradigm 6 and Decentralized Man.