A Mars-Sized Planetary Collision

I'm still only 3/32nd's of the way through Jaron Lanier's new 'Who Owns The Future?' I remember the profound effect of You Are Not A Gadget with fondness. It was something of an eye opener and I'm hoping that this new one has that same initially radicalising and rant-inducing effect before it's content gradually settle s onto a reformed path.

It's also a shame that I only got round to reading it AFTER finishing Mercenary Cubiclists as there's a lot of crossover. There's an unsettling fracas between capitalism and the digital world and we're starting to realise with key signals like Facebook's disastrous public offerings and increasing floundering to try and monetise, the Bitcoin bubble and our data value that the model we want and the model we have don't sit together and sacrifices will have to be made.

A nice and dramatic analogy would be something like the Giant Impact Hypothesis. The Earth is our socioeconomic habitat starting to discover, apropos to climate change, that there are fundamental flaws in the system that perhaps can't be consciously corrected. The Mars-sized rock suddenly in collision and causing a lot of general unpleasantness is the digital social-politique, raised on the back of Randian dreams that never came to fruition and quietly filter bubbling away relatively unaware of its repercussions.

What then of the moon? That little body that revolves around us tugging at seas and turning people into wolves? The shadow market; Tor-enabled transnational illegalities fueled by the digital currencies and human love of vices?  Or perhaps the fabled 1%; enabled by technology, the elite circling over our heads blissfully careless of the tug they inflict on our lives, how much we need it and how much we fear it.

Either way it's going to be a period of flux and fiery gravitational instability before some sort of behavioral pattern is reached where it's possible for these three bodies to live together. Whatever form the moon takes, we will eventually find a way to reconcile the digital world with the system we live in. If we cannot then Lanier's nightmare of a 0.00001% of server-controllers resulting from the dialectic might come true and we'll have two killer moons to contend with.