In One Future We have a Private, Anonymous Alternative to Cash but in the Black Mirror Future the Money in Your Pocket Knows Everything About You

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Cash is dying.

And with the death of cash, privacy faces a deeply uncertain future.

In my article on privacy coins I said governments would drive physical cash to extinction in twenty years. Now I feel it won’t even take that long.

China’s relentless push to build a state backed digital currency, the economic disaster the global pandemic wreaked upon the world, and the incredible rise of decentralized cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum has accelerated the timeline to kill off cash.

The only real question now is what will replace it?

Will it be decentralized, borderless, open source, privacy preserving money like Monero, or will it be nation state driven digital surveillance money? …

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After a brutal year like 2020, people are desperate for something different. They want to change their life, so they get fired up, buy themselves a brand new self help book and swear up and down this year will be different.

Then what happens?


They don’t even read it.

They read the title or maybe they get through the first few paragraphs and go right back to doing what they were already doing.


Because sharing an article is a form of self delusion called “action faking.” …

How to Stay in Control When Things Get Totally Out of Control

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This article is part of the series on Mastering Depression. The book “Mastering Depression and Living the Life You Were Meant to Live” comes out in early 2021. Get notified when it releases by joining the community right here.


Too often today things feel totally out of control.

Whether it’s a raging pandemic, another lockdown, elections that drive us into a raging frenzy, feeling totally alone because we can’t find love, friends passing away, or a lost job, it’s easy to feel as if we’re just a meaningless fragment in a cold, cruel universe. …

In the coming decade, AI will bring incredibly far reaching changes to movies, music, TV, medicine, and healthcare and almost nobody sees it coming.

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There’s too much darkness in the world today.

Whether it’s a pandemic raging out of control, surging civil unrest, a crashing economy or the retreat of democracy, life is starting to feel like the mean streets of rain soaked cyberpunk novel.

Whenever I write or talk, I try to give a balanced view of where we are and where we’re going but today doesn’t feel very balanced. …

How to Use the Magenta Project Music Transformer to Make Beautiful Ambient Music with Machine Learning

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“AI isn’t just creating new kinds of art; it’s creating new kinds of artists.”

- Douglas Eck, Magenta Project

Can AI make beautiful music?

In this article, my team and I dig deep to find out if neural nets can compose Ambient music with the great masters of the art.

Ambient is a soft, flowing, ethereal genre that I’ve loved for decades. There are all kinds of ambient, from white noise, to tracks that mimic the murmur of soft summer rain in a sprawling forest. …

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“Kings ought never to be seen upon the stage…seen AS THEY WERE, their power and their pretensions look monstrous and ridiculous.”

- William Hazlitt, Characters of Shakespeare’s Plays

Have you ever imagined yourself as a great hero, saving the world at the last second from certain doom?

Maybe you ripped through the Harry Potter books or watched the Star Wars series over and over and imagined yourself as Harry or Hermione or Luke or Rey?

What is it that makes a hero? Think about all the characteristics you love and admire in your greatest champions:

· Grace under pressure

· Radiant…

How a Dominant New Software Stack Will Unlock the Next Generation of Cutting Edge AI Apps

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(Source: Image by Author/Shutterstock)

With every generation of computing comes a dominant new software or hardware stack that sweeps away the competition and catapults a fledgling technology into the mainstream.

I call it the Canonical Stack (CS).

Think the WinTel dynasty in the 80s and 90s, with Microsoft on 95% of all PCs with “Intel inside.” Think LAMP and MEAN stack. Think Amazon’s S3 becoming a near universal API for storage. Think of Kubernetes and Docker for cloud orchestration.

The stack emerges from the noise of tens of thousands of other solutions, as organizations look to solve the same super challenging problems. In the beginning of any complex system, the problems are legion. Stalled progress on one blocked progress on dozens of others. …

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One of my best friends died suddenly and it got me thinking about crypto.

Maybe that sounds strange but Peter was the guy who got me into digital currency in the first place. When I dismissed it as nothing but stupid, Internet nerd money, he convinced me that it was something much, much more. We bought our first Bitcoins together.

At $13.

We had a long debate about whether that was too expensive.

Despite my deep technical experience, Peter was always ahead of me when it came to trying out new tech. He dove in fearlessly and never worried if it went wrong. …

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Everyone knows they need to act now to stop the coronavirus.

We don’t need to flatten the curve. We need to smash it.

Some of what we’re doing is working. Daily confirmed cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are leveling off in some of the worst hot zones. That’s great news, but it’s not even close to enough. It just means we’re no longer totally back on our heels.

The novel coronavirus demands novel solutions. I’ve spent the last few weeks huddled with think tanks and the smartest people I know all over the world to come up with fresh ideas. …

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As an author I’m super used to working at home and not seeing another living soul for weeks.

But billions of people around the world are doing it for the very first time and if you’re not used to it things can get ugly fast.

If you’ve never spent nearly every waking minute with your significant other or your family or if you’re stuck at home alone for the first time it can get very hard to cope. …


Daniel Jeffries

I am an author, futurist, systems architect, and thinker.

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