Community is always part of a system that we sometimes can or cannot see or recognize. And in Gerard O’Neill’s proposals for these islands in space, those communities…were supposed to perform a very specific function in a larger system. They were supposed to be experiments.
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I personally am not worried about settlements. I think they’re so far in the future that we can’t predict what they’ll look like. We can’t even keep human beings, particularly a lot of human beings, alive in space or have real settlements, the way we envision a colony or a settlement. I don’t think the lack of sovereignty is going to hurt any of this.
I think we’re already moving into a very—uncomfortably for most of us, into a place where nation-states, governments, are being forced to cede authority to corporations. And that is going to, I assume, happen faster and faster. And if you throw in space, if you throw in the limitlessness of space, then I mean…the sky’s the limit so to speak. I don’t know what the…where that takes us.
AI Policy Futures is a research effort to explore the relationship between science fiction around AI and the social imaginaries of AI. What those social measures can teach us about real technology policy today. We seem to tell the same few stories about AI, and they’re not very helpful.
I was at the White House for almost six years. And most of the time that I was there was spent on trying to bring sort of these best practices that we knew worked in the tech industry to bear in government when it came to policy implementation.
We have basically lost control over our network. All of the advances that have made our lives more productive, more accessible, more connected, have fundamentally disintermediated our ability to protect our environments. The democratization of information, of technology, of goods and services, of banking, of financial transactions with blockchain etc., means every aspect of our lives has become accessible and therefore vulnerable.
In addition to freedom to connect, there also needs to be the ability to connect, and that we need to model best practice at home and around the world, and the policies that relate to that.
There’s already a kind of cognitive investment that we make, you know. At a certain point, you have years of your personal history living in somebody’s cloud. And that goes beyond merely being a memory bank, it’s also a cognitive bank in some way.
The next President is probably going to have to deal with some very difficult economic times. The housing market is starting to look like a bubble. There’s a possibility of that bubble bursting. We’ve been there before.
If I had to suggest one job for the next President to do for a day, it would be to take on the role of a military spouse whose wife has deployed abroad.