Draw the line …
I like exploring new promising developments in information technologies.
I also like many other things but most of them involve some kind of computer (mostly as an effective interface to the broader world, not primarily as an end-in-itself). I needed some time to realize that this is true for me after all. I think computers were not invented for us to get lost in virtual worlds but to explore the real world in a more interesting way.
I am fascinated with recent "speedup of computing" though, it is a wild ride for anyone and everyone involved. I started playing with computers on Intel 286 + MS-DOS, so more or less at the start of personal computing era. I wrote a Tetris clone in Pascal with some interesting features at the end of primary school. I mailed it all around the country through some magazine which included software on a disquette each month. It was interesting to see that this worked and how "easy it is" to distribute / copy software once written. I wasn't aware of how difficult that actually was in comparison to the next era.
Through my high school (1996-2000) the consumer Internet was really taking hold and at the end of it it was here. Just as I entered my Computer Science studies. In first year in a classroom I remember feeling very excited when I tried Google search a few times to get some help with current explorations for my studies. It was just a completely different technology than Altavista which I was using some years before Google. One immediately realized that something "funny" happened in that transition and only a few sarches were needed for that lightbulb to turn on.
Internet changed everything and everyone knows the story. Software was much easier to distribute and those who were well prepared and in the right place at the right time figured it all out and took advantage before anyone else really noticed what was happening. Now we mostly live in their world and by their rules. It all happened so fast and by utilizing so much capital that this centralization road was the only option. They also developed some crucial technologies for the next era to be possible at all, so we should appreciate all well-meaning builders from this transition era.
It is now time to rewrite some of the rules and since public crypto technologies are obviously finally here, we can start doing that. One step at a time with still a very long way to go. It is in the interest of everyone. Centrally run organizations and services still have their use but they won't be the only game in town. They are too slow and too incapable of holding consistent multiple narratives. They will loose power through internal and external pressure. On the other side are privacy and control preserving cryptographic technologies of this new web3 era. Brilliant pioneers and networks of pioneers have been cutting their teeth on this for some time now. They are slowly getting recognized for their contributions to future prosperity and reducing various kinds of barriers to progress.
I recently read the book Finite and Infinite Games and I really recommend it. I think we are moving from globally focusing on the finite games to the infinite ones where the goal is to continue playing and not winning per se. This is the reason "rules of the game" are being rewritten... to actually build a sustainable future for this planet.
I am especially interested in helping build the next-generation of tools for Search & Discovery (quite a broad topic) and also for the realtime web.
I feel privileged to be living in such amazing times. Just to observe and do nothing would have been enough but I think that wouldn't have been possible.
I would like to end with this famous quote for all explorers:
Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. (T. S. Eliot)
Essentially, this is an advocation to the reader to challenge him or herself. Eliot is saying that we are always capable of more than we think we are. Only those who are willing to keep going to a point which they fear is "too far" can ever possibly discover how far it is possible for them to go. If we behave conservatively and do not take risks, we will always be slightly holding ourselves back. However, if we do not pause to consider the fear of failure, and do not allow ourselves to become shackled by the fear of doing too much or being too excessive, then we will be freed to fulfill our true potential.
A key word in this quotation, of course, is "risk." Eliot is suggesting that there is always an element of risk inherent in any real achievement. Only by welcoming this aspect of risk can we truly go above and beyond what we thought might be possible. If we want only to stay in our risk-free comfort zones, we will never establish what we are actually capable of doing.