Why Mars? A Multiplanetary Species, But It Won’t Be Humanity: Outer Space as Salvation Myth

It’s powerful, practical even, to charge your employees with great purpose. Scientific discovery, satellite communications, asteroid mining are all useful and practical reasons to launch rockets, and where humanity steps back in awe, Elon Musk takes his SpaceX employees further by saying they’ll make us a multiplanetary species. Granted our technology will explore and work in outer space, but to understand how earthlings would fare on another planet you only have to visit the zoo. Continue reading

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Facebook Credits: Getting Paid to View Ads and Creating an In-Platform Economy

Facebook MoneyAttention, our free time, is the only scarcity online. With so many pages, videos, and podcasts to experience, no one wants to waste time on ads—unless it pays. Let’s say the advertiser pays people to view an ad. Currently advertisers pay Facebook to get their ad in front of customers. What if along with the standard ads and Friend updates, there appears a narrow white bar with a button you can click to unfurl an ad, crediting a dime to you. That ten cents would be an in-platform digital currency.

To seriously consider this scenario with its attendant why-nots and impossibles, let’s attempt to answer: what is the purpose of our economy? With the billions in advertising revenue Facebook collects annually, it might seem the economy works best when money is extracted from an ecosystem and converted to share price and ten-figure entries in the company’s bank account. It’s easier to measure and make sense of the accumulation of money, watching the scoreboard in a global economic contest, than measuring the velocity of flow. But what if the economy actually functions better when money circulates more? Continue reading