“The computers form a choir, and they never forget the chorus.”
…and it starts to open up the possibility of humanity itself operating in a kind of harmony at a scale and complexity we’ve not yet seen.
I always appreciated the story of the evolution of musical notation (at least as I’ve been told, I’m not a music historian).
Monks were chanting in monasteries. To keep track of the songs, they had two marks: pitch goes up, or pitch goes down. The monks had to remember initially just how far up or down it went from each prior note.
This very basic notation led to the monks being able to sing more complex melodies than they could prior to this memory aid.
However, this simple system was overwhelmed by the newer more complex pieces, and the first versions of relative pitch musical notation began to emerge. As the notation grew in its ability to represent more complex pieces, the complexity of the music again outpaced the musical notation.
I’ve long imagined that the simple ways that we exchange value and resources with our paper checks, our credit cards, our coins and cash, our banks, our paper contracts … I’ve thought of these as similar to the very simple initial approaches to musical notation.
When the notation changes, the music itself grows more complex.
Similarly, when we shift from these clumsy forms of resource exchange and difficult-to-execute-or-enforce contracts to this “internet of agreements,” we’ll be able to enter into thousands of smart contracts and micropayments, perhaps by spoken words, that just do what they are supposed to do, without having to pull out a check-book.
We’ll be able to increase the complexity of our interdependence, our resource exchange, how we represent value, and our capacity to express our relationships with each other; it will be possible for us to be in the flow of the harmonious exchange of skills, resources, and creativity, flowing where they need to, without the intermediaries distorting the outcomes.