Map #31: A.I. — Humanity’s Lab Rat Or Robot Overlord?

’I have always believed that any scientific concept can be demonstrated to people with no specialist knowledge or scientific education.’ Richard Feynman, Nobel physicist...

It’s a new world. Making a map?

Map #30: Violence, Conformity and a Toronto Van Attack

I was going to write about something completely different this week. Then I saw the news headline that a van had plowed through a mile of sidewalk in Toronto, killing nearly a dozen people and injuring dozens of others. It suddenly felt wrong to continue with the work...

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Map #28: A Higher Loyalty?

I was in Washington, D.C. this past week—the talk-shop capital of the world. I attended a conference on the future of war and spoke at a conference on the future of energy. In between, I took in Mark Zuckerberg’s hearings on Capitol Hill—and even found time to binge...

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Map #27: Fixing Fake News

I wonder, do you ever share my feeling that ‘fake news’ and ‘post-truth’—these phrases that get thrown about every day by the commentariat—cloud our understanding rather than clarify it? To me, such phrases—frequently used, fuzzily defined—are like unprocessed items...

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Map #25: Has China Got It All Figured Out?

The Dictator Who Dethroned Democracy? These days, the commentariat is talking a lot about China and what China’s rising confidence means for the world—and for the democratic world in particular. In almost all these conversations, at some point someone will mention...

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Map #24: Voyages Into The Unknown—And The Familiar

Donald Trump can become President of the United States. Boris Johnson can become Foreign Secretary of Britain. Silvio Berlusconi, whose bongo bongo parties once secured his status as the most debauched leader in the democratic world, is back on top of Italian...

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Map #23: Here Come The Avatars

Just a short letter this week. I’m doing a bunch of interviews and podcasts in the U.S. at the moment, to coincide with the U.S. paperback release of Age of Discovery (Revised Edition). It’s hard to look at events in the U.S.—ranging from the Florida Parkland school...

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Map #22: Catching Up With A.I.

The techno-optimists are driving AI forward. And we, as citizens, are bombarded by the promises and portents of its consequences. AI will destroy our jobs. AI will eliminate drudgery and leave us more time to be creative. AI will solve our information overload. AI...

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Map #21: Hard Choices Or False Choices In Digital Paradise

Every week, we’re greeted with a new story about a cyber hack or attack. The 2018 Winter Olympic Games website was hacked during the opening ceremony last Friday night. Last week, it was confirmed that Russian operatives had hacked voter registration databases in...

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Map #20: Women & Power

I was going to write today about the annual World Economic Forum in Davos—and I did pen this very brief critique (To stave off revolution, Davos must do something radical. Here it is.). But then my (and everyone’s) attention swung. The news that everyone here in...

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