So here’s what happened. If you tell people you’re going to have this super-open, absolutely non-commercial, money-free thing, but it has to survive in this environment that’s based on money, where it has to make money, how does anybody square that circle? How does anybody do anything? And so companies like Google that came along, in my view were backed into a corner. There was exactly one business plan available to them, which was advertising.
I was looking for the tools that you could use to solve global problems in an environment when the nation-state has turned out to be a very very ineffective set of machinery at all. So I’m going to talk a little bit about the technology. I’m going to talk a little bit about what it does and where it’s going. And then I’m going to try and tell a story about the kind of global long-term picture that we could get if this stuff actually works.
I am profoundly envious of people who get to write about settled domains or sort of settled states of affairs in human events. For me, I was dealing with a set of technologies which are either recently emerged or still in the process of emerging. And so it was a continual Red Queen’s race to keep up with these things as they announce themselves to us and try and wrap my head around them, understand what it was that they were proposing, understand what their effects were when deployed in the world.
We rarely think about the link between trust and progress and innovation, and how societies move forward. But when you start to think of it like that, you realize that trust is actually the key component not just for companies but any organization that wants human beings to try new things.
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.
As we’re giving our homes this new layer of smartness and intelligence, we’re giving away its ownership to very large organizations. And as we become a generation of renters, what I’m very interested in is how do landlords respond to that?