[ExI] A world drowning in excess savings

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Wed Feb 19 15:54:52 UTC 2020

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of
Bill Hibbard via extropy-chat

>...This is all down to the political influence of the banking industry. And
if you didn't like that, wait until you see what the political influence of
the AI industry gives us.

Bill, try to think of a development which is the opposite of what we humans
are tuned to sense, which is the ominous threat.  We evolved because of our
ability to detect in sufficient advance the ominous threat and prepare to
flee or defend.  We are really good at that.

But what is the opposite?  Think of a development which had such a marvelous
and largely unforeseen benefit.  It went mostly unforeseen because we just
are not generally tuned to foresee marvelous opportunities and benefits, we
are tuned to prevent loss and catastrophe.

Consider one that even escaped a lot of tech hipsters, the appearance of
HTML. In 1990.  I do remember this well, because I was starting a motorcycle
trip.  My bride and were eating breakfast in our favorite restaurant in
Santa Clara.  We watched as all these geeks were crowding into a parking
lot, a couple hundred.  After breakfast I went out there and asked what they
were doing.  A guy explained there was this new computer trick, HTML, which
would be kinda like a more general version of Apple's HyperCard, where you
can create these computer graphics pages and links and stuff and it doesn't
cost much to have a web presence.

Next day in the office, I mentioned it to my colleague Dalid Aman, who was a
Jordanian engineer with a side business of antique old west firearms, the
kind you see in western movies.  Dalid immediately realized he could create
free advertising and put it on the World Wide Web, being as advertising was
his biggest expense.  He did.  He started making a ton of money, the classic
definition of the cubic buttload of money on his antique firearm and ammo
business.  He left Lockheed and did that full time.  I posted about that
here in the early days of ExI.

Think of now.  In the past when we needed to do a home repair, we would
generally fumble around, get a friend to help, call a professional,
generally take a long time and mess up something else.  But now, any home
repair, anything that breaks, you can go to the web, Google who had a
similar problem, find a YouTube where someone will teach you exactly how to
fix it and it is all free.  Now you go to the hardware store ONCE and get
everything and fix it right on the first try.  We are drowning in excess
wisdom.  What a pleasant thing to drown in.  Death by hyperorgasm (mmmm OK.)

Think of how much more efficiently our world operates today because of the
largely-unforeseen appearance of HTML.

Yet we still focus on the big negative things, like the bank failures of
2008.  Who here lost money in that?  Neither did I.  Who here has benefitted
in ways difficult to imagine or estimate by HTML?  So did I.


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