The events of Tuesday have forced me to change my views about history, my country, and mankind’s future. It’s better to be honest than to pass around fairy stories. This is my effort, at the end of my career, to adjust you to reality.
Today I believe in technology capitalism, which is the ruthless competition of people, of ideas, and the products of those ideas.
The only thing that can save this planet is technology capitalism, and frankly I don’t rate its chances very highly. But at least, as the name of this blog makes clear, there’s a chance.
In the last decade, technology capitalism has destroyed the oil barons who are the primary drivers of climate change. They lie before the feet of energy harvesting, great men, whole societies rushing around like ants fighting over the last sugar cube on a beach before some bather’s foot crushes them.
Even 10 years ago this would have been unimaginable. But today the cost of harvesting energy from the Sun, the Wind, the tides, and all manner of movement is lower than the cost of burning oil or coal. Even when you add the cost of batteries, even subtracting the sunk costs of machines to burn it, the cost of energy harvesting will be less than that of natural gas within five years.
Our energy grids are being replaced. So is the fossil fuel economy. This is the greatest hope for mankind’s future. Take out the burning of fossil fuels, and the load on the climate can be reduced, even disappear.
We don’t need new policies to make this happen, just the capitalist incentives that already exist around the world. Do what works, do what’s cheaper, do what gives you the greater degree of control, and you can save your business while saving the planet.
This has a much better chance of success than politics.
In the end I do retain some core beliefs, even under Donald Trump and the collapse of the American Empire.
I believe in capitalism. I believe in technology. I believe in change. I believe in competition.
I believe in the forces I began studying in the late 60s, when I put down $200 in a custodial account for 10 shares of stock in a time-sharing company called Datamation Systems. The stock went to $80. I told my dad, who was the account’s custodian, to sell. He listened to our broker, who counseled against it. Within a few months the stock was at $10, and the company went bankrupt as time-sharing was replaced by the minicomputer.
That event launched my life. I have been studying technology and business ever since, looking for answers to questions like what creates money, how does technology create wealth, and how do you stay on top of the Great Game.
The answers are that money is a verb, technology creates wealth through deflation, and the Great Game is the engine of meaningful change.