11/09/2020 - What We Can Learn From Science Fiction

The Sovereign Individual Original Content: 

10 Sci-Fi Stories That Inspire the Pioneers of The Metaverse - 
Technology in many ways is molded and developed by people that were inspired by the stories they've read. Here are 10 science fiction stories that inspire creators of the digital frontier space known as the Metaverse. These stories cover foundational concepts that set a backdrop for what to expect from the digital future.

Why you should care? The Metaverse will be the next evolution of the internet. It's expected to be highly interoperable, "always-on", and expand upon the ways we interact with one another. 

As new technology is developed to create a more immersive and interconnected digital experience, life will change. How we express ourselves, what we value, and how our digital experiences increasingly impact the physical world. Following the Sci-Fi stories that inspire these future technologies can provide clues as to where we are heading as a society.

A Roundup From Around the Web

Why Does the Free Market Have Such a Bad Press?  - A short paper from 1966 written by Milton Friedman. The paper covers 4 ideas on how and why the press usually turns away from free markets and towards a pro-collectivism mindset. 

#1: "Almost all economic fallacies arise because of the neglect of indirect effects" The reasons to implement changes and create rules to better regulate a free market are straightforward. But the nuances behind why regulations are bad can be hard to describe. Ie: the second and third-order consequences are hard to describe and sell. 

#2: "There is an asymmetry between our interests as producers and as consumers. As consumers, we consume a million and one things, and seldom have a concentrated interest in anyone. As producers, our interests tend to be concentrated; we get most of our livelihood from one activity or occupation. Therefore we tend to be much more single-minded in promoting our interests as producers than as consumers" 

As a consumer, we may not mind if a given product or service is regulated among the many we consume. But as a producer of that product or service, regulation has a disproportionate impact on us. 

#3: Free markets don't have a press agent or someone to come to their defense. They are easy to attack and hard to defend. 

#4: "The role of the intellectual is much more limited in a free society than it is in a controlled society."

Why you should care? It's interesting to read a libertarian perspective on free markets and the press, especially as society seems to shift its preference towards government intervention. 

Western Economies Embrace State Intervention, Emulating Asia - 
Nation-states are consolidating power to support their domestic economies in a retreat from globalism. This shift is in part a way to compete with increasingly aggressive Chinese policies but also a result of the financial carnage created by Covid. 

"In the European Union, an export powerhouse that had long prized laissez-faire policies and free trade, leaders last month vowed to erect barriers to foreign competitors, repatriate production of key technologies, reduce dependencies in sensitive industries such as health, and create new digital champions."

"Now, as Western governments wield enormous stimulus packages, they are pouring money into industries traditionally considered beyond the remit of the state."

Why you should care? Nationalism is rising once again around the world but it is an overwhelming push towards state-run and state-protected economies. 

There is no doubt that state intervention will increase in the wake of COVID to support local economies. This will harm businesses that rely on global trade while it will benefit domestic companies and centers of production. 

It also presents a breeding ground for cutting edge decentralized applications that will be used to bypass protectionist policies. 

Demand For Bigger Homes, Pushes Up UK House Prices - The shift in housing preferences isn't unique to the US. Covid-19, the subsequent lockdowns, and the shift towards remote work have changed housing preferences. As a result, homes with more space are seeing a price surge. 


Why you should care? The globalized trend of work from home and the subsequent willingness to relocate are reinforcing the emergent Sovereign Individual Class. As vaccines emerge to treat Covid it will be important to follow these trends to see whether work from home policies are eliminated or have staying power. 


Evolving Reddit's Workforce - Reddit implements a work from home salary policy change - no cost of living adjustments for individuals that choose to move away from physical Reddit offices. A huge development for remote workers.

The victory of Proposition 22 in California - Uber and Lyft Drivers in California Will Remain Contractors a big development for the future of gig style work. 

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