Two things today… which I know are connected, but I don’t know how.
1) Tank Hat
Both of these are early steps towards things that are absolutely inevitable… I think what links them is that they’re movements towards remote exoskeletons. Like Sleep Dealer… or (taking it further) that one where Bruce Willis is all shiney… Surrogates. A brain in a jar controlling a landscape littered with toys.
The inevitability is enhanced (and made evident) by the fact that both of these are DIY projects – based on the new availability of EEG headsets, and whatever it is that has gone into that tank to get it to go – wifi (or whatever), sensors, motors etc etc. We’re not waiting for corporations to make these things for us – we want them so bad we’re making them ourselves.
I tell yer – there’s a relationship-made-in-heaven between hackers everywhere and the Chinese Shanzai geniuses. There’s a very distinct possibility of getting things to market before Western corporations have cottoned on – because the innovation doesn’t happen in corporations, it happens at the edges… the market-research isn’t done by corporations, it’s done by the blogosphere, and the Chinese can turn out copies of things at prices that are a tiny fraction of what are possible in the west. (eg: the other day my dad bought a fibre-optic lamp… it had 4 colours that you could switch between, and had it’s own rotating colour-change program. Retailing for $2(NZ). How the fuck do you make that for $2?)
Mind you – how the does the west make enough money to buy anything, if everything can be done cheaper elsewhere?
And the answer to that one I think… comes down to a serious re-think about what we actually need money for. Because we do need it – but… for all sorts of things now, we don’t… and maybe (just maybe) the primacy that we’ve given to fiat-currency, is a mistake. Maybe the whole model is a mistake. Maybe the way we’re managing scarce-resources is wrong. Well, it’s definitely wrong isn’t it? Half of us are fucking dying. That can’t be right.
There’s an interesting concept here – Basic Life Package (blip). If we can make multi-colour fibre-optic lamps for $2, we should be able to make BLiPs (covering the first level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs)
at a price that doesn’t… well, kill us.
By the way, the reason the old order is being kicked on its side, is that people are fulfilling the higher levels of that pyramid by creating things themselves. There’s a lot of fuss about people distributing other people’s stuff for free… but actually people will more than happily create for free as well… only it’s not really “for free”… it’s just free of money. They’re paid in benefits described in the top 2 levels of that pyramid.
Calling it an “attention” economy, is kindof missing what it’s about – the “attention economy” is an attempt to turn “abundance economy” stuff into fiat currency… into an economy controlled by scarcity. It doesn’t really work – although I think the illusion of it working is what’s funding a lot of progress at the moment. But I think it’s a bubble. I think advertising is a bubble.