Jan 7, 2022Liked by Tomas Pueyo

I've found your analyses to be sober and insightful. The clarify you offer is much appreciated given the amount of chaos and upheaval we are currently experiencing in modern times. Your follow-up on ocean plastics introduced me the notion of concentration of force, and I'd like to pull the thread a bit more. How is political warfare being conducted on the internet? Many news outlets have noted a troubling rise of authoritarianism, but I think they usually miss the mark when explaining what is driving this trend. Peter Torchin has offered an explanation of today's political polarization: society is overproducing elites. I'm not the extent to which this is a satisfying explanation. How can we expect polarization to play out - are there historical precedents for this? I expect these to be difficult subjects to write about given the intense rhetoric and strong feelings about them, but if I had to nominate someone who can offer an objective, clear analysis, it'd be you, Tomas!

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Thank you! Fascinating and critical topic.

I don’t know yet. As I’m exploring the end of nation states, what emerges as my strongest hypothesis so far is that polarization should be increasing.

Before, networks were based on geography: who you were born around. This means you were randomly dropped in a group with lots of variance. You had little in common with others, and whatever was in common was shared by the group (Eg skin color) so no polarization because of that.

As people got in touch with other peoples, they had already maintained contact with their own geo network, which they felt lost allegiance towards: churches, nations…

What internet allows is to connect those who share the same values and mindset regardless of geography, superseding geography.

It means more polarization on some aspects, but less in random, geo-based polarization, which is polarization, just more accepted.

What is patriotism if not polarization towards favoring your own geographic area? What is religion if not the same for religious values?

So we will replace geo-based polarization with values / mindset-based polarization.

One way to think about US polarization is as rural vs urban lifestyles polarization. This happens to be somewhat geographic (because the geo still determines a lot of our experiences) but it’s distributed across the US (and even abroad). When we talk about somewheres vs anywheres, the biggest driver there is rural vs urban.

Similarly, I can see more identities emerging through the connection of internet than there have been, leading to a completely different depolarization. Instead of ~200 nations and ~20 religions, you might have a few thousand big global tribes — that aren’t mutually exclusive— and then some other smaller ones.

Anyway, that’s some of the stuff I’ve been thinking. Hopefully an article on this soon!

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Jan 4, 2022Liked by Tomas Pueyo

I'm a new subscriber and looking forward to exploring your thoughtful analyses. Your list of future topics is terrific, and ambitious! A few of your comments suggest that you are comfortable with economic and population growth. I'd like to hear more about how you understand them, particularly with the constraint of finite resources. It is the 50th anniversary of the 1972 report "The Limits to Growth" (updated several times since), that identified the danger of "overshoot". It seems to me that the predictions are largely on track, with a few updates in the model along the way. This next decade looks to be one that might confirm a less pleasant future, having exceeded the planet's "human carrying capacity". With your strong skills of analyzing and connecting the complexities involved, I'd love to hear your views of the modeling by that group. I have heard many denials and rejections of it, but have not encountered a convincing analysis for why it isn't valid.

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I agree with you! That's what the degrowth article is meant to do. I'm gathering the data over time, and hope to have time to do a deep dive at some point. I take. note on The Limits of Growth! Thx!

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I found "The limits to growth" and its aftermaths, especially the latter, to be at odds with more optimistic analyses, especially Rosling's "Factfulness". I also will be interested in your thoughts about the subject... Flying cars get way over my head, but give me free energy and we're in an totally different ball game...

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Rosling predicted population stabilization, but didn’t really address the drain on planetary resources. I can’t speculate on the impact of “free energy” other than to observe that we don’t have it, and are unlikely to in the next decades. I’m looking forward to what Tomas has to say on this topic!

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Great list. On the topic of immortality. I wonder what would be the side effects of having immoral humans. Would that come with negative side effects? How should we deal with them? It might be interesting to explore that topic

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Isn't it fascinating? I assume you mean physical ones, though.

I want to believe this must have been explored in SciFi. I'll need to look into taht

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Not just physical, but also societal and political. The older people get, the more resistant to change they become. Death opens space for the younger generations to change the old ways of doing things.

Imagine a world of old people that never die, but continually get older. Not just 3 or 4 generations living at the same time, but tens and hundreds of generations being nostalgic about how things were better when their generation was young, and hating how the new generations are ruining everything.

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Yeah I’ve been thinking about that. I don’t have an answer yet. One hypothesis: maintaining a young body comes with also a younger mind.

Another hypothesis: ppl living forever pushes younger ppl out to new places (underwater, Mars) where they have much more room for innovation

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I'm a Pediatrician and can tell you that this pandemic has been devasting for children of all ages. They are unable to socialize properly, many simply can't learn online, and there is a not-so-hidden epidemic of mood dysregulation and social dysfunction which is going to have an enormous negative impact as these kids move into adullthood.

None of these topics really address the evolving impact that this event - which will likely not really subside for 1-2 years - will have on our soon-to-be adults.

My main vote would be for AI. There are enormous pitfalls in AI, many of which are simply not being addressed. In my field, EMRs have resulted in huge drops in productivity due to the enormous numbers of person-hours devoted to truly meaningless data entry; and in a mass early exodus of clinicians who did not sign up to be data-entry clerks. At the same time, the introduction of algorithms has made it far more difficult for clinicians to step "outside the box" and engage in creative medical solutions to unique and difficult problems. Also, there is little to no acknowledgement that algorithms have their own deep problems rooted in the way in which boundary conditions are set - a process which always involves bias, usually unacknowledged. (Easiest example is the bias in facial recognition software towards white male faces - but it clearly exists in medical algorithms as well.)

Just some thoughts.

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I used to advise an EMR company, and shadowed some doctors to understand their use. I was flabbergasted at the investment in writing for them...

Luckily, I think this is transient. I want to believe that within a decade, AI will be able to listen to the conversation, pick up the info, and fill in the EMR logs automatically.

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I am a practicing family physician. The "provider centered, disease focused, market share" driven model of care is not a "system". It is a series of "reactionships" and is at grave risk of becoming itself a "harmful product". Tools of mass production such as EHRs that demand every blank be filled and inflexible care algorithms focus more on the needs of the "health care systems" inflict moral injury on the workers and are profoundly wasteful and frequently harmful. A number of us in Georgia are evolving our practices into a community centered collaborative care model with tools for "mass customization" (easily available internet based assessments and apps for healing practitioners as well as the general public). A key question we always ask is "What would need to happen for this problem ( pain, fatigue, sadness, insomnia, etc) to get better and how can we help?" One new patient, a single working mother with poorly controlled diabetes and depression asked me to sign her disability forms. When I asked "What would need to happen to have you fully functioning and back on the job in 2 weeks?" she responded " I need someone to pick up my daughter from school". Our product is people.....the impact we make on our world and the joy we have doing it.

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Jan 4, 2022Liked by Tomas Pueyo

Hi, I just got here. I very much enjoyed reading your free newsletters (although I still have to find the time and the quiet mindset to read some of them), so I decided to offer myself a subscription.

All the items in your list are fascinating, and most of them cross-pollinate: the future of humans, demographics, nation-states, corporations all impact each other. You are exploring the different pieces of the puzzle; maybe it would be useful from time to time to zoom out and try to see a "big picture" (or at least part of it).

I know that the point is to vote our favorite topics (and mine would be on the future of nation-states); but a topic that I couldn't find in your list and would entice me is the future of the US (and possibly democracy, or political systems in general).

Just my 2 cents. Thanks for the great work!

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I started writing a draft on the US, but then I realized I'm missing a bunch of pieces of the puzzle! I might attempt to do it though :)

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Jan 4, 2022Liked by Tomas Pueyo

Yo voto por estos temas para el 2022:

-¿Qué podemos hacer para ayudar a evitar las migraciones y las muertes?¿Cómo podemos ayudar para que se desarrollen los paises con más migrantes por falta de medios y educación?

-Educación: como industria del conocimiento, va a cambiar por completo. ¿Por qué no ha sucedido todavía? ¿Qué se necesita para que suceda?

-Cómo y cuando, a qué edades, debemos enseñar a los niños para mejorar su desarrollo mental y ayudarles a entender y distinguir lo correcto de lo negativo?

-Cuidado de la salud: aunque menos obvio, también es una industria del conocimiento. Como todos los demás, está a punto de sufrir una revolución. ¿Cuáles son las barreras para su revolución?

-El secreto de la felicidad: qué es y cómo lograrlo.

-El activismo por el cambio climático ha fracasado. ¿Por qué? ¿Qué podemos hacer al respecto?

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Jan 4, 2022Liked by Tomas Pueyo

I looked at all the topics and can't easily decide what wouldn't be interesting. What I love about Uncharted Territories is the long-term view and each article feels like a deep dive on a specific puzzle piece that helps me better understand where we are going, or at least where we have come from. Missing one of those puzzle pieces could introduce a big potential gap so if you think it's important, I would like to hear about it :)

The only major topic that I think is underserved according to your current plan is climate change. If you could explore more different topics related to climate change from more different angles, I would love to read about it.

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Ah, I'm so glad to hear that's how you perceive it. It's definitely how I think about it!

Understood re climate change. I'll start with the one around social engineering and we'll go from there. To me, it's the biggest missing piece in that topic (even if there are more around the core of the debate, eg how bad is it, really?)

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Jan 4, 2022·edited Jan 4, 2022Liked by Tomas Pueyo

Glad I could confirm your perception :) I really love the way you approach these topics and have started using some of your analysis methods in my own work.

Because climate change has become such an all-encompassing issue and touches almost everything else going on in the world, it could well be that your big puzzle piece articles will also help address the climate change issue. For example, one of the big ways we have been making progress on our climate goals in recent years is by the governments of the world getting together (e.g. Paris in 2015), legislating targets and creating carbon markets. But your article about nation-states and how they may lose power in the future was news to me and made me realize that we may need a new approach as governments lose power. If you hadn't given me that piece of the puzzle it never would have occurred to me.

I think the science about climate change is already out there and there may not be much more value for you to add (although then again, maybe not!). The social engineering article sounds very exciting and I'm sure anything else that occurs to you around the topic will be something I want to read. I guess I just want to communicate that my huge concern about climate change and how we can get to a net-zero future with minimum suffering is the major lens through which I consume your articles. I even think about it when I read your material about COVID, which is extremely timely, because the pandemic consumes so much of society's attention and I want to know when we can expect to devote more attention to climate change.

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Thank you, this is interesting.

You will then also enjoy the article against degrowth!

I'm thinking on climate change I'll start with these, and we'll see where it goes from there. Good to know it's such an important topic!

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Jan 4, 2022Liked by Tomas Pueyo

So exciting! Very interested in the articles about nation-states, demographics and geohistory.

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Jan 4, 2022Liked by Tomas Pueyo

These all sound great, it will be very hard to pick an ordering!

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A way of answering your question. #1 is easier and needed for #2 and #3. Your approach is societal and civilization levels and will need the tools and vision to be effective. Or vertical problem-solution are easier and if within a global mindset (humanity) are more consumable.

Umbrella Topics:

(1) Science-Technology:

Harnessing Science – Technology to meet the needs of Humanity - Not the needs - benefit of the few

The Future of Atoms

Artificial Intelligence & Automation


Social Engineering

(2) Bringing the Collective Mindset Up to Needs of Our Time:

Finding the Right Balance of Government, Industry, Business and Finance for a Sustainable United States (Model for Future Democracies)

The Future of Nation-States

The Future of Knowledge Industries

The Future of Countries

GeoHistory Series

The Corporate Future

(3) Being Human as Part of Humanity:

Humanity Potential and Human Potential – Finding the means and balance for harmonizing both human and humanity potential; or seeking the power of human unity that enables human individuality and diversity

The Future of Demographics

The Future of Humans

Personal Development of the Future

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Native American "slow think" recommends that when making a decision, consider the impact on 1) 7 generations out

2) our planet

3) my community

4) my family

and finally

5) myself

My request is that with each article, you help us become citizen activists and agents of change by offering concrete, actionable steps readers can take in some or all of these categories (do this/ stop doing this)

For example, regarding plastics

1) as a self decline plastic straws and lids

2) as a family recycle and use products like bar soap instead of liquid soaps with plastic containers

3) as a "communtarian" install and use recycle containers in your child's school, your church or your business

4) as a "planetarian" do xxxx/ stop doing yyyy/ with your investments or contributions or your vote......

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Just read your Russia article. Thinking about your China article.

Mixing those thoughts with all your other posts...

Brings me to one question : although I subscribe to your analysis about the doom of nation states, how should we expect possible nation states typical aggressions, if and when they happen, to affect technology advances and expectable progress of humanity? There used to be a saying, somewhat like "there's nothing a good old war couldn't fix"... Should we change it to "nothing a good old war couldn't x down or destroy"?

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I can't give you much help prioritizing, except to second the vote on finding new angles on climate change. While Bill Gates' book has a plan to turn it around, it looks impossible given the state of the world today and human nature. We need some fresh analyses and ideas. Otherwise, I'm excited by all the topics you're working on - thank you, glad to support this with my subscription!

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