Weekend Thoughts - 5.13.17

Image  by  Pedro Travassos , courtesy of  Creative Commons  licensing.

Image by Pedro Travassos, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Happy Saturday y'all! Below, I have rounded up some things for you to think about this weekend:

1. Our species has experienced three major revolutions thus far: the agricultural revolution, the industrial revolution, and the information revolution. We are on the cusp of the next big one, and the way that we handle the automation revolution will determine whether those who will inevitably experience technological displacement will suffer unnecessarily or not. At the core of this author's argument is the need for humans to change our relationship with money, something that I have been fascinated with ever since reading Charles Eisenstein's book Sacred Economics. This week's article is an excellent overview of automation and the concept of universal basic income, and is worth sharing far and wide.

2. The New York Times featured a thought experiment in the form of an interactive quiz asking its readers, "which tech giant would you drop?" The choices were some of the biggest technology companies in the world: Alphabet (Google's parent company), Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon. This quiz was mentioned in several tech blogs and podcasts last week, and it's an interesting thing to consider. My choices were as follows (in order of which company I would drop first to last):

  1. Microsoft
  2. Facebook
  3. Amazon
  4. Alphabet
  5. Apple

I don't rely on Microsoft for anything that I can think of—I don't want to own a PC or Xbox, nor do I use Skype. Facebook provides some value to my life, as does its app Instagram, but I could give it up before the other three. Amazon is a convenient way to order physical items and ebooks for my Kindle, and I do use Amazon Prime Video on occasion, but it doesn't get nearly as much use for me as the other two. However, a considerable amount of the Internet relies on Amazon Web Services; without it we would be missing a large amount of content on the web. I do feel like another hosting service could replace AWS though. I don't use Google as my primary search engine, and I have recently switched over from using my Gmail address to my new Think Wilder domain address, david@thinkwilder.com, but Google owns YouTube, which is my main form of video consumption by far, and it brings considerable value to my life. Finally, Apple is the last company that I would give up. In my opinion, using other companies' hardware, software and service offerings is an extremely sub-par way to experience computing technology. If you're interested in taking the quiz, take the link above and give it a shot.

That's all for this week's edition of Weekend Thoughts. Until next week, keep thinking wilder.