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Francis Bacon: Essays and New Atlantis

Of Truth: The poet that beautified the sect, that was otherwise inferior to the rest saith yet excellently well: It is a pleasure to stand upon the shore and to see ships tossed upon the sea; a pleasure to stand in the window of a castle and to see a battle and the adventures thereof below; but no pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage-ground of truth (a hill not to be commanded, and where the air is always clear and serene), and to see the errors and wanderings and mists and tempests in the vale below; so always that this prospect be with pity, and not with swelling or pride...

The Platform Revolution and the Shape of Change

To understand the powerful forces that are being unleashed by the explosion of platform businesses, it helps to think about how value has long been created and transferred in most markets. The traditional system employed by most businesses is one we describe as a pipeline. By contrast with a platform, a pipeline is a business that employs a step-by-step arrangement for creating and transferring value, with producers at one end and consumers at the other. A firm first designs a product or service. Then the product is manufactured and offered for sale, or a system is put in place to deliver the...

Diamandis & Kotler on Exponential Progress

Over the past 150,000 years, Homo sapiens evolved in a world that was “local and linear,” but today’s environment is “global and exponential.” In our ancestor’s local environment, most everything that happened in their day happened within a day’s walk. In their linear environment, change was excruciatingly slow— life from generation to the next was effectively the same— and what change did arrive always followed a linear progression. To give you a sense of the difference, if I take thirty linear steps (calling one step a meter) from the front door of my Santa Monica home, I end up thirty...

Kevin Kelly on the Technium

We created the technium, so we tend to assign ourselves exclusive influence over it. But we have been slow to learn that systems—all systems—generate their own momentum. Because the technium is an outgrowth of the human mind, it is also an outgrowth of life, and by extension it is also an outgrowth of the physical and chemical self-organization that first led to life. The technium shares a deep common root not only with the human mind, but with ancient life and other self-organized systems as well. And just as a mind must obey not only the principles guiding cognition but also the laws...

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