Everybody thinks of bureaucrats as being kind of a neutral force. But I’m going to make the case that bureaucrats are in fact a very strongly negative force, and that automating the bureaucratic functions inside of our society is necessary for further human progress.
I think the obvious thing to do with one computer per planet is fix climate change before it destroys agriculture and leaves billions of people to starve. That seems like a fairly reasonable kind of an objective. You know, there are all kinds of little optimizations you could do with these things, but fundamentally the big unsolved challenges that humanity faces are climate change and resource scarcity.
This is a completely new kind of design challenge. There’s no way that you can take the civilization we have and re-scale it for 1–10 kilograms of copper per human per lifetime. You have to think in a completely different way if you’re going to operate inside of this framework where you take the sustainable harvest of the Earth and you divide by nine billion.