An early visionary and architect during the early 20th century named Richard Buckminster Fuller said it was entirely possible to create floating cities which he called “Cloud Nine.” He envisioned that they would float inside domes where the internal temperatures could be adjusted.
Many of us have probably envisioned worlds similar to these. Especially for those of us who read science fiction where we are taken into fantasy worlds.
However today, Silicon Valley is looking to transform societies into exciting new ways. Thus, they are closing the gap between reality and fantasy. A recent article by Stephen Johnson posted in BigThink looks at 5 new societies that they want to create.
If you have followed recent science news, then you have most likely seen the buzz from Elon Musk, who founded SpaceX, about colonizing Mars. He wants to build a BFR vehicle that will transport people to the red planet.
“All our resources will turn toward building BFR,” Musk recently said. “And we believe we can do this with the revenue we receive from launching satellites and servicing the space station.”
Musk envisions Mars could become Earth’s “backup drive” after he builds a permanent colony there. He believes that a virtually self-sustaining colony could be built there. At this point, it is not entirely clear how people would survive long term there because of the lack of bioregenerative life support.
“Silicon Valley is both a place and an idea,” Netscape inventor Marc Andreessen recently said.
This type of society is a very new idea. It is the notion that societies could be created online and maintained by people who are high tech thinkers. We have already had a taste of this approach, thanks to things like Uber, Bitcoin, and even flash mobs.
This vision is known as an “opt-in” approach to building societies. Balaji Srinivasan, who co-founded a San Francisco based company called Counsyl, pointed out at a recent seminar event. Thus far, we have yet to witness the creation a techno-utopian society like these.
It is estimated that two thirds of all people in the world will reside in cities by the year 2030. Silicon Valley sees this forecast as a chance to create “smart cities” which seeks to optimize everything from transportation to housing.
Silicon Valley’s New Socialism
The National Bureau of Economic Research provides some pretty alarming statistics regarding robots. Their data shows that each robot that is added to the United States economy will reduce employment by roughly 5.6 workers, and every robot added per 1,000 workers will cause overall wages to decrease by 0.25 to 0.5%.
This means that humans need to retool themselves more than ever because the robots are gunning coming for all our jobs. There are yet no plans as to how to accommodate the anticipated displacement of workers. Probably the most popular and most discussed solution is the universal basic income (UBI) approach. This is a plan that guarantees every citizen to receive a basic minimum income.
This model derives its name from the word “homesteading,” which implies the building of new homes in uninhabited places. As you might have guessed, “seasteading” applies the same concept to the oceans of the world. Although this may sound much like a whimsical idea, there is a Seasteading Institute who has already gotten the French Polynesian government to help them create a pilot community within its national waters located in the South Pacific. They plan to start its construction at least by 2020.