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The following has long struck me as obvious, but it occurred to me yesterday that it might not be. So I share it herein.

We are aware of the phenomenon called “Metcalfe’s Law.” Roughly that the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of users connected to the system. This “network effect” is perhaps the most important value driver in the world today. Because the value of the network increases with the number of people on the network, there is a self fulfilling prophecy. Past a critical point the biggest network is more attractive than…


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from http://laurengary.deviantart.com/art/Zen-Garden-117505415

We have now reached a very interesting point. At least at the narrative level we have reached the point that “defunding the police” is a real proposition. It even seems plausible that some jurisdictions (most notably Minneapolis) will do it. Of course, it remains to be seen how much actions meet words, but nonetheless this is quite a change.

I would like to propose that this idea is very good in two ways and very bad in one. And I would like to suggest how to get the best out of it.

Moving beyond corrupt and obsolete institutions

Broadly speaking, “policing” in the United States has…


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[3.15.20]

The story of the unfolding meta-crisis that we have been watching for the last decade has become enormously more salient over the past few weeks. This is a moment of major risk along many different fronts. It is also a moment of singular opportunity.

Foremost among them is to learn.

The Deep Code hypothesis has been that the dynamic attractor of our current civilization (the set of institutions, structures, ideas, habits and feedback loops that keep things hanging together) is in the process of evaporation. Like a tornado that is turning back into wind.

At the same time, a…


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This post will be an extension and update to the model first shared in Situational Assessment: 2017. Some familiarity with the concepts developed therein and continued in Situational Assessment: 2018 will be assumed. If you have not read those two posts, it will likely be useful to do so. As was noted in the past, please take this effort as a lens — not as an effort to tell the whole story. It is only one of many lenses, indeed, only one of the many lenses that I, myself, use to make sense of the world. It is not and…


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Nassim Taleb famously brought the notion of anti-fragile into our consciousness in his book by that name.

I recently noticed that I have a conception of that notion that might bear sharing. I think this can be done somewhat quickly, so here goes.

First as a caveat, herein I will be using the term “anti-fragile” to mean that which is being described here. While this might be fully the same as the notion of anti-fragile introduced by Taleb, it might also only represent an aspect of that “larger” notion.

Transmogrification

To begin, consider a pocket watch. More specifically, consider the…


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It seems that an old conversation has begun again. After several decades of relative silence and in the context of the rising popularity of Jordan Peterson and the broader “Intellectual Dark Web,” the debate between Science and Religion has seen a glimmer of a return.

I have long contemplated this question and, in collaboration with Deep Code, have perhaps achieved some insights that are worth sharing. Interestingly, as I have endeavored to put these ideas down ‘on paper’, I have noticed that they seem rather simple. Perhaps this is precisely as it should be.

To begin, I would like to…


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Much ado has been made in the past few weeks about Facebook. After the recent Congressional hearings, we might be somewhat disappointed in the rather obvious gap between the challenges of adequately regulating innovative technology like this and the capabilities of our elected and regulatory representatives.

Fortunately, I believe that almost all of the conversation about Facebook has missed a crucial point — one which, when grasped, radically simplifies both where we should go and how we get there.

Namely, we have made a fundamental legal category error with regard to Facebook’s relationship with its users. We have allowed ourselves…


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In 1997, I just happened to be in my last year at Harvard Law School and just happened to be taking a couple classes with Larry Lessig. In December of that year, Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson appointed Lessig ‘special master’ in the deeply important anti-trust case involving the once most poweful company in the world: Microsoft.

As a consequence of all of these coincidences, I was following this case closely and I noticed something. The case played out over several years, but reached a conclusion in spring of 2000. On March 24, 2000 Microsoft stock was at $56.31 per share…


I happen to be a bit of a student of history. As such, I’ve noticed that what we are witnessing in the United States (and much of the West, as I understand it) is a case study in the break down of civil society and the emergence of civil conflict. I imagine that if you could see into the living rooms and street corners of the American, French and Russian revolutions or the American, Spanish or English Civil Wars, you would find a lot that is similar to the current dynamic.

But this time something new is happening. This time…


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It appears that at long last the popular sentiment seems to be boiling with enough intensity to (maybe) do something about the problem of social media.

Good. It is high time.

But, even if it turns out that we have reached the point where we are ready to do something, we come face to face with the reasonably difficult question of what we should do. And, in order to know what we should do, we must first have a good understand of what is, in fact, the matter.

I have spent a great deal of time over the past several…

Jordan Hall

Changed my name back to Hall, sorry for the confusion. Also, if you are interested, my video channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMzT-mdCqoyEv_-YZVtE7MQ

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