Thomas Power (The Power of Social Networks)
- 00:00:14 The origin story of Ecademy – the original social network for business.
- 00:05:19 How social networks helped us get more connected but also made us more lonely at the same time. How can we find real trust and intimacy?
- 00:12:03 How the way we ‘make connections’ has changed so much. Is Clubhouse a good tool to improve on that?
- 00:16:06 What Social Media could have been? What went wrong in the last 10 years?
- 00:28:28 What ‘free energy’ and ‘free software and hardware’ will change the marketplace.
- 00:34:13 How a few ‘bad actors’ have hacked the Twitter and Facebook algorithm.
- 00:42:53 Is loneliness a ‘treatable side effect’ of how we encounter our new ‘social normal’?
- 00:48:01 How our life’s got easier but lonelier voluntarily. Is it all related to the changes in the Facebook algorithm in 2014?
- 00:59:22 Why ‘all the upside’ of my life came from an Internet?! Would Nietzsche have been a more positive person with the Internet?
- 01:10:52 Hear Thomas’ take on the ‘Fermi paradox’.
Thomas Power is a serial entrepreneur and independent Board Director based in the United Kingdom.
You may watch this episode on Youtube – #84 Thomas Power (The Power of Social Networks).
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Torsten Jacobi: Thomas, you’ve been a star of social media when social media was kind of a secret when nobody knew what it actually was and what it meant. You started a company and I think there was more than 20 years ago, Ego, called Academy, which morphed into basically a very early social network that was around before LinkedIn and it was a business network before Facebook. Is it still around? Are you still active in that company?
Thomas Power: No, we sold it in 2012. We ran it for 14 years and we sold it in 2012 to an insurance company in South Wales, in the UK.
Torsten Jacobi: What was the claim to fame with Academy? When you saw early, most people would expect that it’s so powerful and it needs to be acquired by the other companies that came after you, like Facebook, like LinkedIn, like others. What was different about Academy and how big was the network?
Thomas Power: What’s interesting about that, Torsten, is all the founders of LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook were members of Academy. All of them, all of the original founders. I think Academy is real claim to fame other than being the first social network for business was we had breakthrough events in the sense that we now hear all the time about B2B SaaS, ARR, MRR, recurring revenues. We launched that on Academy on December 7, 2002, where people paid £10 a month to be a member. By 2006, we had half a million members. We launched B2B SaaS before B2B SaaS was a thing. We launched social media blogging before it was a thing. Video blogging was a thing. We launched group crowd sourcing or crowdfunding because we went to the members and we asked them to invest in the business back in 2004. A lot of the dates in Wikipedia, I think, are wrong by two or three years because Academy did them before they were written about. I think we had a lot of breakthroughs, but I think where we ended up was 650,000 members. We ended up with a bronze, silver, gold payment mechanism, £2 a month, £10 a month, £100 a month, dollars, pounds, euros. The bit that really intrigued me was those 650,000 members were actually 5,000 clubs of about 100 people. I’ve always been very intrigued by Robin Dunbar, the anthropologist at Oxford University, where his Dunbar slump is 150, which is why we’re now building the Bit100 club because I think the actual number of 150 isn’t right, but I want to prove it and that’s why we’re building the Bit100 club because Academy was actually 5,000 clubs of 100 people. People talk about it as a community of 650,000 people. It wasn’t a community of 650,000 people. There had to be 650,000 people on it. What it was was 5,000 communities of about 100 people. That, I think, is its claim to fame. I think because you haven’t got that really on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, you don’t really have those small intimate groups, which Uval Noah Harari talks about in 21 lessons for the 21st century. That’s like a cutting edge idea from 2019, even though we implemented it in 2002. What people want is small intimate groups of trust. You can’t find those on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. The first thing to show up, those small intimate groups of trust, is actually Clubhouse. Clubhouse is the closest thing to Academy I’ve seen since 1998. Really, that’s why I’ve put so much effort into running three or four shows every day because I think what Rohan and Paul are doing is very similar to what Penny, Glenn, Julian and I were doing with Academy over 20 years ago.
Torsten Jacobi: Yeah, that’s fascinating. There seems to be two ways to look at social networks. One is we’ve gotten used to these massive social networks. They’re distributed through the entire society, but it has two purposes. One is, as you described, there is this number of people that we feel we want to keep ties with. This used to be our tribe, and that seems to be a number somewhere between 50 and 200 that are shifting around. Maybe it’s 100 as you’re hopefully going to prove it. Then there’s this other purpose of social networking, and maybe this is not as big anymore, but you want to find likeminded people. You want to find people who have similar interests that might have ventured out in a certain avenue slightly more. You really enjoy discovering these people. I really enjoy that. I think this works really well. For instance, on Twitter, as a social network, they really build up their algorithm to find people who know slightly more about something I’m interested in. It gets getting a little repetitive, so it’s not perfect, but they certainly have figured this out. I think Facebook does a little less, but they also went the same way when they changed their news feed in 2014. I think both things are pretty important that you interact with the people you have your safe zone with, you feel safe with, and you know for quite some time, and you maintain a relationship, and then you discover new people into the group that help you extend your knowledge or extend your discovery in life.
Thomas Power: Yes, what people are actually seeking, I sense. Bear in mind, I’m 57 now, so I’ve been online since I was 25. I’ve been online longer than I’ve been offline, if you like, 25 years without the internet, and then another 32 years with the internet. Is people like to belong to small intimate groups around topics that they’re interested in? Okay, it might be IoT, it might be cryptocurrency, it might be blockchain, but there’s also something else going on that the more connected Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, all these platforms have made us the more lonely people feel. So it feels like we’ve built the infrastructure, we’ve built the motorways, if you like, but we haven’t built the coffee shops. And I think what LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram are, is their motorways, they’re not coffee shops. And what people want is coffee shops. And what you see with Clubhouse, which is considered a revolution, is a random group of people joining a conference call and calling it a revolution. And what it is, is a group of people listening to other people on a telephone. That’s called a conference call. And we could do that 30 years ago. But because it’s repackaged as an app, it’s a revolution. But the underlying need is to support the loneliness, because people want people want deep intimate connections, and that they can’t find them on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, because they’re really infrastructure marketplaces, they’re really systems, they’re not communities. And I think people are desperate for community, in their local town where they live or their local village or their local city, that they’re desperate for it in topics that they’re interested in. And you can get it online in particular technical topics, but you can’t get it physically. And if you walk up to somebody in the Starbucks or Acosta coffee or any one of these chains, and you approach someone for a conversation, they would jump back, thinking you were threatening them, coming on to them, making some predatory move on them. People don’t even like to be approached anymore. So I think we’re moving back now to an environment where people focus on building small intimate groups. I think the number is probably around 100. I think I’ve got the exact number, but I don’t want to publish it until I’ve proven it, and I’ve got all the data.
Torsten Jacobi: Yeah, you’re absolutely right. There is. And I think I had this debate with Edward Tanner, and he told me, whenever you go through a period of increased specialization, what happens is people perceive it as information overload. And that’s obviously, we are in this for the last 20 years. And when that happens, this happened before. But what happens during the time, you also shift your social relations. So obviously, we are hardwired for the sense of community. But we need to shift our social relations in sync with what we need in terms of work specialization. And we know there’s so much specialized knowledge out there. So we need to maintain these connections as well. And they’re mostly online these days, because it’s so much easier. But that takes time and effort and an incentive away to build real life relationships. And it is absolutely true. People are lonely despite having more connections, right? Having exposure to more people. The question is how we can solve it.
Thomas Power: It’s also very hard for them to find your specialized group. Yeah, true. Because it might be in a geography, it might be in a topic, it might be international. But it’s very, very hard to find if you were, say, looking for 100 specialists in video podcasting production. Yeah, you can find 100 profiles. But you can’t find many people with the profiles who want to engage deeply and intimately. Oh, absolutely true. And people think business is about information and contacts and deals. Well, yes, business is around that. But business is actually about intimacy, care, love, support, relationships. And those kind of communities are what I’m interested in. The marketplace based communities, just like the group, the rooms on Clubhouse, where you have these people saying, come on my course and you can make seven figure salary over the weekend. Yeah, these are funnel marketing Ponzi schemes. And those kind of marketplace environments, I just don’t think should be on Clubhouse. But Paul and Rohan don’t have the resources to keep control. And they’ve got 300,000 rooms opening every hour now on Clubhouse. And if you think about there’s only 14 million downloads and say 1% are engaged, you’ve actually only got 140,000 active people on that on that platform already. And it’s a global phenomenon with just 140,000 people, because it’s the 140,000 people. Yeah, that’s what’s made it a global phenomenon.
Torsten Jacobi: Well, early adopters obviously have this disability. And I think you’re the best prototype for it. They have this ability to engage community, they know their community, and they can illuminate it, they can they can they can bring it to its best possible outcome. And it used to be, and that’s probably 30, 40 years ago, all you had to do literally was to go to a city where there’s lots of people like minded, so to speak, you engage in a job that’s useful, you know, that’s well recognized, say, I say investment banker, not that that’s very well recognized anymore, but it’s something where you definitely there’s some, some, some brand associated to that. And then you spend some money and you’re in right here, you get into the right clubs, and people want to talk to you. And as an entrepreneur, you always want to be somewhere where people really deeply appreciate you if they just tolerate you, then you’re basically in the wrong place, because nobody will ever really engage in a conversation that’s deep enough to to improve your product. And it seems that isn’t working anymore, this hasn’t been working for a bunch of years, not just with COVID, you did is it seems to be harder to find this shortcut to get deep engagement, as you just say, and that makes people lonely. Do you think clubhouse and obviously spam is there, but clubhouse gives us an opportunity to to change that to really get into a deep conversation. I haven’t seen it yet. And I, you know, I’ve just explored clubhouse. I’m not really the user of it.
Thomas Power: Yes, they’ve got the chance that the problem that they’ve got, I mean, it’s a positive and a negative like all of these situations. Paul and Rohan have got the best backers in the world on this. Yeah. And I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the film Trading Places with Eddie Murphy back in 1983. Do you remember that one? That was probably before my time, but okay, so so two investment bankers had a $1 bet that they couldn’t break their current managing director and take a guy off the street, Eddie Murphy, and turn him into the new managing directors. And they had a $1 bet that they couldn’t break one and make some make a monster out of nothing. And Eddie Murphy plays the comedy character who comes from the street to run this investment bank. What’s happening here is you’ve got Mark Andreessen, who’s a board member of Facebook, and Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook. And I think Mark Andreessen has said, I bet you I can take you on with a little idea. And Mark Zuckerberg said, I bet you can’t. And Mark Andreessen said, I bet you can, I bet you I can. And he’s found his best two people, Rohan and Paul are exceptional, exceptional operators. And Clubhouse is this $1 bet between Mark Andreessen and Mark Zuckerberg, just like the Trading Places movie. And because they’re going to get so big so fast, because they want to be this big giant free thing and then fill it up with advertising and subscriptions, I think they won’t have the intimacy that they’ve currently got. And it will be overrun with whatever you define spam ads. If they can get big and be small at the same time, then it’s genius, because what the world wants now is effectively a big small strategy. We want this big giant free, but we also want these small intimate groups. And so there’s a conflict, because we want both. We want the distribution, but we want the intimacy. They have a chance to do it. But of course, Twitter Spaces, LinkedIn Clown, Facebook Clown, Instagram Clown, there’ll be loads of clones of Clubhouse. I think it’s going to be very hard to copy, because it’s very good. But I think the demand of the shareholders will force it to be another giant monster. And therefore, it’s hard to have intimacy on it. But I’m kind of hoping, and I’m contributing vastly to build the intimacy there. But I know how these stories end. And ultimately, we work for the shareholders. We don’t work for the users.
Torsten Jacobi: Yeah, that’s very wise. And I want to zoom out for a second and look at this maybe a little more. You’ve been involved with many social networking companies as someone as a stakeholder, someone who built their own brand, but you also helped other people build their brands on social media. And when you think of social media, immediately we see privacy violations. We immediately think of this is something that engages our limbic brain, that’s actually just there’s nothing to learn there for us, we just get enraged. And we think of basically the election 2020, that’s peak 2020, so to speak. And that’s what social media has become. And I know being an entrepreneur myself, being in Silicon Valley, I know it didn’t set out that way. And there is a positive side of social media. Maybe we can zoom out for a second and maybe you can help us understand what you see with social media, what could it have been, let’s put it this way, if they would have done it properly, if they changed it a little bit, if they wouldn’t just worry about money, obviously about making money, but maybe they would have taken a step back from making that much money.
Thomas Power: Well, you know, I consider Silicon Valley to be a Ponzi scheme based on valuations. You sell the next valuation, join the next valuation, join pay and join the valuation. It’s a valuation pyramid. It’s a Ponzi scheme based on technology. And I wouldn’t disagree with that.
Torsten Jacobi: And there’s also another thing, which I agree with, Silicon Valley is typically a place where people come, steal technology, raise money, and then build something. That’s also true. But it isn’t the whole truth. It’s been like, there’s an internet bubble in 1999, and it was crazy and it was a mania, but it also created the technology that we have today, which is very useful for everyone in the world.
Thomas Power: Yes. I think the issue that people have with privacy is because they have a misunderstanding about what a shareholder is. And they have a misunderstanding between free and paid. If you’re not paying for something, you must expect to have your data abused. You must expect that. I expect that. If I’m not paying for something, I’m expecting them to make money out of my data another way. And we can see all the senators and the congressmen in Washington, D.C. do not understand that concept. We saw Mark Zuckerberg question for two days, and no one was able to ask him a specific question that put him under pressure. No one. And remember, those are the politicians that are supposed to be the cleverest. So I think the issue really for people with the challenge of privacy is, do you believe in paid or do you believe in free? I believe in paid. I built a social network for business that was paid, £2 a month, £10 a month, £100 a month. I believe in paid. I don’t believe in free, but free has built these giant companies. They’re big, giant free distribution systems. They’re like motorways. They’re like railway lines. They’re like airline infrastructure. They’re big, giant free systems. But railways are not free. Roads are not free. Airlines are not free. Electricity is not free. Networks are not free. They just had to learn to make money a different way, and they figured out how to farm the data. And I think to their credit, they should be praised for that, that they figured out how to survive and build, serve their shareholders, deliver an IPO, and return capital to those shareholders. Albeit it took most of them 10 or 15 years to figure that out, but they did. When you see the tragedy of free, you see it captured in Netflix on the social dilemma, because there you see the pain of free. But I think most people don’t realise that the shareholders have the power. People come up with an idea. They give it away free. They get more capital. They give it away free. They get more capital. They give it away free. It expands. They get to an IPO. They return the capital. The whole business is about returning the capital to the shareholder. That’s the bit I don’t think people understand. I think a lot of people think that products should be free or are free or everything should be free. This is nonsense, obviously. So I think all the arguments and the hype around privacy are because of people’s ignorance around free. In terms of your comment about the United States and manipulative games played on Twitter by certain powerful politicians, if I can say that, that was just a professional gamer playing words with an ignorant audience. He was like a sociopath playing a game, and he was manipulating an audience. I think in some ways he was having fun with the game, but it turned into malice. It became malice of all thought, and then that malice became armed, dangerous, disunited. Effectively, he was using a technique of divide and conquer. That division that was created in the United States by really only one person, obviously had a team behind him, but one person is going to take America years and years and years to recover from. Years and years and years to recover from. But I think if you bring up to a more up to date example, like with COVID, with what we saw as a result that came out primarily last year, we didn’t see the tech step in and work on COVID. We didn’t see Silicon Valley sought out our test and trace. We didn’t see Silicon Valley show its power to contribute benevolently to a disaster of deaths in the United States. I really still think Silicon Valley has got a lot of growing up to do. Yes, they may be billionaires, but it’s not about collecting money. It’s about contributing to planet earth and all humans. When you look at the situation in Syria, when you look at the situations in Myanmar, when you look at the events around the world with people, with food, with Africa, with the Muslims in the southern part of Myanmar, I do look at the technology industry and I think what was the point of collecting all of this money from these giant Ponzi game free systems to collect capital if you’re not then going to deploy it to help humans around the world who need the capital. Because that to me is the bit about Silicon Valley that never makes any sense to me. They just keep building the pile and the capital is not deployed to those who need it most. And therefore I’d like to see the work of Bill Gates replicated by all of the billionaires of Silicon Valley. In whatever form they wish, but there’s a million people in the camps in Syria and they have the power to do something about it. To me that’s the bit of social media and the internet that hasn’t happened yet. And it might be just age. It might be just maturity. They’re not old enough. They haven’t grown up enough to be responsible. But social media and this infrastructure could have been so much more. And now we live in a world where people, we have all this information, we’re very well connected, people feel disconnected, people feel lonely and no one trusts the information. And so I think, oh, what was the point of that then to build a system to create disinformation, loneliness and disunity? It’s madness. And so I think it’s a maturity thing that maybe because I’m 57, I’ve got a different view of the world than I had at 37 or 27. And I think we’re yet to see the Silicon Valley giant techs step into their responsibility because they’re not yet mature enough to do so. It’s a long answer to your question, Torsten.
Torsten Jacobi: Yeah, we got political real quick. I was hoping we move that into the second hour, but that’s great. I know you really feel strongly about those. And I think you raised some really valid points. What I wanted to stay for a moment is kind of the positive side of social media, right? We all know about the negative sides and it’s been very apparent. It’s kind of everybody knows by now, not everyone, but most people who have a little interest in that marketplace. And what I wanted to, one thing I wanted to comment on is that free versus paid, I think it’s not that easy in the sense of yes, paid is better because you obviously have a direct relationship. But what’s, I think, missing is kind of overlooked, is how cheap technology has gotten, right? So when we think of Moore’s law and it kind of doesn’t happen for a while, but then it suddenly explodes and we see this now, for instance with bandwidth, it’s relatively easy to get free bandwidth, literally free bandwidth. You can stream a petabyte and nobody worries about it. You can have a petabyte of storage for like a few dollars. And if you buy it in bulk, these things are completely free. So we moved from a technological marketplace where things had a certain pricing attention, even for hardware, that’s true. You can buy really an iPad, I was just talking about that with Brian. And iPad from two years ago, that was released in two years ago, you can buy it now for $10 or $20 new, right? So you don’t buy it from a secondary marketplace, you buy it from the same supplier in China. So the prices have of technology are crashing with this huge deflationary power. And obviously giving it out free is weird, I agree with you. But in the end, if you have the ability to bring in users, which often seems to be the most expensive thing, and technology becomes free, there is literally, you can change the way products work and we see this with software eating the world. Everyone expects things for free, because in the eye of millennials, this is what it should be, because everything should be free, because it’s so cheap to make because coding is expensive, but then delivering the product is free.
Thomas Power: Yes, but I hear all that. The points you’ve made are absolutely right in terms of bandwidth, in terms of deflationary power, in terms of cheap technology, in terms of connectivity, in terms of information sharing, in terms of global GDP, all of those are right. But let’s examine a specific deal, right, so that we try to understand what a user actually is. And we’ve recently seen Microsoft make a bid of $12 billion for Discord. Okay, and that’s primarily a gaming community where people to get together, a little bit like Twitch, but a gaming community of enthusiasts who talk and share and game together. Now, that was an environment where Microsoft were offering $12 billion for a community of 6.7 million active daily users. Active daily users, ADUs, not AUs for UUs, these are ADUs. So they’re valuing, they’re valuing an active user $1800. Okay, I think once people know that they are worth $1800 for their activity, their behavior and logic changes towards free and paid. And this is really the first example we’ve got of the comparison of free and paid, of the value of a user, an active daily user, very specific, 6.7 million active daily users. That’s why I’m so interested in it. But in terms of free and scale and capital flow, you are absolutely right. We could not have built the network this fast at this scale and lowered prices this quickly without massive capital investment. But I just feel the capital that’s being gained hasn’t been redeployed to where it’s needed most. And that’s my frustration with it. But you’re absolutely right, the deflationary power of technology. I mean, look at inflation. We’ve practically quintupled the economy since 1989. And prices are almost the same as they were back then for most commodity products, which is staggering. So we know how powerful the deflationary power is. But at the same time, at the same time, we do have a situation where the jobs created now from tech are now having to be unionized because they’re so cheaply paid. They’re so poorly paid. And so we’re seeing unions wanting to form at Facebook, at Google, at Amazon. And that’s a bad sign before we hit robot automation. And so that we are approaching the extreme end now of what’s going to happen to technology and labor. And it just makes me worry as we move towards the singularity, the technological singularity, where men and machine emerge, because let’s face it, our kids are the last generation of humans, right? By the mid 2040s, we’re going to be one with these machines. So you can’t have a situation where only the sophisticated get through. We’ve got to get these people through. And the other thing is we’re hearing a lot of talk now because of the progress in CERN, that we could have free energy as early as 2033. Fusion power drops of energy that can power a currency for a year. So we might be going from free information and free internet to free power. Can you imagine that if they break through? And then you think, my God, so how is the world going to cope with that? So my mind blows at fusion in the 30s and singularity in the 40s.
I think it’s going to happen. It’s actually my standard podcast question. What would you do with free energy? Because this has been expected for a long time, right? Maybe not free, free, but almost free. Nuclear fission, if fully deployed, would have delivered this. Yes, there’s risks and maybe we shouldn’t have done it. But that was my grandfather’s start. He’s like, you know, just made 20 years and we will have free energy. And that was in the late 70s. He said that in the late 70s. Yeah, I mean, you know, it was everyone was just scaling out nuclear power plants at the time. He’s like, this, once you build, it’s like a chip plant, you know, it delivers free energy basically. But it never happened, right? And it’s less, maybe less of a problem. But we haven’t done anything. And when you, when you listen to Robert Zubrin, that’s obviously the biggest problem with free energy, almost free energy, you know, 100x cheaper than what we have today. That brings us to the starts. But if you don’t have this, you won’t, we won’t get to the start. It’s just not possible by pumping oil out of the ground. It’s just not going to happen. Well, you are free energy, almost free energy is like almost free bandwidth, almost free hardware. I mean, I know these things are not completely free, but they’re pretty cheap. Yeah, but not free power in the 2030s. Oh my God, it’s going to happen. And maybe it’s not 30s, maybe it’s 40s, who knows, but it’s, it’s 100% going to happen. And until then, I think the, the, the power will probably get more expensive for a while. And that’s kind of, I compared to paper. Remember in the late 90s, we also know paper does not need it anymore and happened in the early 2000s, the price of paper skyrocketed because everyone just printed everything. And then 10 years later was gone, right? So you see the, the counter effect first, and then you probably see the real effect a little later. And I think the single, that’s very good. That’s very good. You should, you should treat that. That’s very, very good. Yeah, I’m trading on this. I’m putting my money to it. So let’s see to what it leads. Because Bill Gates always says in the road ahead book, he says, people always underestimate the technology at the beginning, sorry, overestimate it at the beginning and underestimate it at the end. And I think, I think your, what you just said there was very, very good. I like that. Thank you. But when I think about the singularity we have, you know, people are, and that’s, I kind of wanted to go back to the positives effect of social media. There’s a lot of negatives to hear about the singularity. And I think they’re very well founded. There’s a lot of things that could go wrong. Absolutely. But there’s also this amazing potential. And David Orban gave me that statistic. We basically have a million brains that have the same computing power, doesn’t mean you have the same ability as a human brain, but we have access to a million brains for the price of $1,000. So we can, we can use them to solve particular problems, kind of like a GPS, the final call is still probably with us and we won’t be sent in. So this is all things that might come quite a bit later. But the amazing power is that we can problem solve. And I think this is underestimated because the core problem for humanity was always entropy, right? We face this universe that wants to kill us more or less. And problem solving always changed the game. And that’s why we are the apex predator. And let’s, when we apply this to technology and social media, I think people are underestimating the opportunity it gives. And what I mean by this is, and then you’re the expert, obviously, what I mean by this, I see a few names that I think they have, they have decent content, but they appear all the time. And I feel like they, they successfully hijacked how Twitter works, how Facebook works, they seem to appear all the time. And it gives them a mega voice, maybe for better, maybe for good reason, maybe it’s a voting machine, but I feel like they hacked the algorithm. And so someone with a relatively small price, a few million dollars can now have the same, probably a bigger voice than the president. And I find that incredible. I think you’re right. I think they have actually hacked, completely hacked the algorithm. And they do appear all the time. I think it’s, I think it’s tragic because it’s, it’s, it’s almost like spam because they’re, they’re permanent fixtures. When you talk about the positive side of social media, I, I not want to downtrodden on social media. I, so I’ve made my career out of it. So I can’t, I can’t, I can’t put it down. My, my, the thing that bothers me is what happens to the capital that’s come from it. It’s the deployment of that capital that, that concerns me. In terms of your, your thing about deploying a million brains for a thousand dollars, I think, and your other question at the beginning about is cryptocurrency the natural extension of social media? And I wrote a book about this called tokenomics in 2017 with Sean, with Sean O from, from Ethereum. I think the big issue we have with these giant networks is we don’t have trust. And now there’s a lot of talk about trustless networks with crypto and blockchain. And I’m really interested in that because Amazon talks about launching their own cryptocurrency. The new CEO, Andy Jazzy, coming in in October talks about an Amazon cryptocurrency. I, I do see all of these organizations or the brands launching their own cryptos or working on an, an agreed central platform and paying people in cryptos and buying things in cryptos and being rewarded at every click you get a, you get a token, every token is a click. I can see that environment as a natural extension of social media where they effectively pay you to work through tokens that you can then spend in the supermarket. I see that happening. But is human recognition what we ultimately want? And, and money is just like something in between human recognition is what drives us the money. We couldn’t care less. I mean, the money might not be worth anything tomorrow. Right. So I think we all have that in separate of social media, but, but people, people are struggling to find trust inside these networks. They’re struggling to find intimacy and they’re struggling to find trust. And that’s an issue we have to fix. Yeah. Because you can’t live your life based on tokens or money. Yeah. You can’t live your life based on information and connectivity. You have to have trust. You have to have intimacy. Dare I say, you have to have love. And I’m not talking about physical love or sexual love. I’m talking about the love of another human being, man or woman, of any persuasion. And I think, I think the job of the 2020s is to get that right. Because I feel like, as I said earlier, we’ve, we’ve built the motorways, but we haven’t built the coffee shops. Yeah. And we need the, we need these motorways, these giant free networks. We need them littered with coffee shops. Because it’s all we hear now and highlighted by COVID is all we hear all the time every day is, is loneliness, depression, mental health, suicide, opioids, all sorts of recreation drugs. This is all we hear all the time. Yeah. I think you start up every day just, just providing a certain kind of addition to the therapy for mental illness, mostly online. And that’s staggering, right? I mean, these numbers are across the charts. What I’m trying to, to figure out to is why this is a, we have this need and it’s inbuilt into us. But why can’t we do this anymore? Why can’t our human brain adapt to this different environment? I mean, there haven’t been coffee shops 30 years ago. It was literally no coffee shop in the US, right? So the US still worked. And we had institutes, you can say the church, but there’ve been, there’s always been something that followed that made it easy to build that community, whatever that was, maybe we work or it was a bar or it now it seems to be beyond this long stretch where all these community building places have vaporized, but nothing new came in. Why can’t we do this? Why is the human brain unable to come up with something that works, right? And we can, we can, we can roll out across the internet or across the real world. That seems mind boggling to me because the, the, the technology that’s been created, these profiles that we build on all these different platforms, they actually create a force field between us and other humans. They actually create a gap. They push us away from other humans. They don’t make us closer. And so because we’re living online in these platforms and we’ve created these profiles, if, if anybody comes near us, we have to qualify them. We have to assess them. We have to push them away and think, oh, no, they’re not for me. They’re not for me. They’re not for me. Oh, that person is for me. But isn’t that, isn’t that the choice is good, right? It is. But if you, if you think in the physical world, if, if a man or a woman approach one another in a bar now, and, and anybody goes near another woman physically or makes an approach, that’s now, that’s now called, that’s virtually an offense. That’s virtually an abuse you’re protecting from any kind of engagement, physical engagement. And that physical engagement is being replaced with this digital engagement for these digital machines. And there’s no point in hiding behind a profile. And if you look at an IPO like Bumble, Bumble IPOing in New York earlier this year, $13 billion IPO, that’s 10 billion pounds for a dating app. I mean, 10 billion pounds for a dating app. And I said to my wife, Penny, I said, how do you feel about that 10 billion pounds for a dating app? And she said, there’s a lot of lonely people in the world. And that’s just one app. And I think, unfortunately, the scale of the loneliness has been highlighted by COVID and the, the depression and the drugs and the mental health. And the next generation, I’ve got all this technology, but they don’t really know how to engage with people physically anymore. Yeah, but physical engagement is now threatening for a long time. Remember when, when you, when the big shift happened from, you can call someone, someone you’re courting, right? And then later on, no, you have to text first, you could only text and then call. And now you have to probably, I don’t know, be on Snapchat and then you can text and then, so there’s always another layer that comes in between. And generally, the idea was, I think it’s definitely driven by, by, by anyone who’s in demand, which obviously in the dating market, there’s more girls than, than boys. But there is this, we want more choice, you want more options. And so you add another layer for this preselection, right? Kind of what you do in business, in business, we talk about the funnel, right? So you have all the people out there and then it gets smaller and smaller, you’re qualified and more. And then only the people you talk to on the phone, they all basically, they all just want to sign up. That’s how qualified, pre qualification works for leads. But this is something that people desire, right? Because you want to talk to the most engaged audience on the other side. So I don’t see a return of, we, we, we all just gonna, I mean, maybe a big crisis comes around and kills millions of people. But I don’t see it, it is a desire to have this, to get the best possible outcome for yourself to get this pre qualification. So we will add more and more layers to it, which obviously makes us lonely. But I don’t know. But it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work. The more you, the more you could pre qualify, the more you funnel, the more you create those choices, the more you create those options, the harder it is to make a decision. That’s true. If you and I go into Starbucks, and we get a coffee, and there are 40 muffins there to choose from. And I say, which ones do you want? And you are, and you look at, you look at the counter and you say, Oh, Craig, I don’t know which one to choose. If there were two there, you’d say, I’ll have that one. And he’ll have that one. And pick it and walk away. But we’ve created a rule for me, right? Somebody or someone already reduced 100 muffins to two. Yeah. But if there were only two, it’s easy to choose. But, but, but these social platformers have created unlimited choice. So now people can’t choose. And they’re worried about making a decision to choose, because they think, Oh, I might find something better tomorrow. Yeah. And so actually, the technology, the technology itself is creating the loneliness, which is a paradox when it creates connectedness. And so you have this connectedness, loneliness, paradox. And I don’t think we know how to fix it. And we don’t yet have any new companies, perhaps it’s Clubhouse. We don’t have any new companies coming up with new ideas yet of how to fix it. But we have got to fix it. Yeah. Yeah, I hear you. I think you’re onto something that’s definitely something that trust, you know, trust often is that you’ve been able to observe people for a long time in different situations that build stress, right? And that often was people locally around you that just randomly over always around you that that amber number, right? Then 100 people in your tribe, you can observe them. And you know, they don’t go crazy on you because they haven’t gone crazy on anyone else in your tribe. Now, in big cities, we didn’t have that for a long time. But I think it’s, it’s the technology, you don’t know what people are actually doing, but they don’t talk to you, they could go crazy on someone else on Facebook, right? They can, they can really be sociopathic. You don’t have that ability to observe the people as long in different random manners. And that kills trust, right? Because how, and then you try to get it back with freak qualification and running people through all these obstacles. But as you say, that also creates the problem on the other side of it, you have too much choice. I don’t know if yes. And also, and also you need, you need to laugh and dance and sing and have fun to engage with people. You need randomness. You need festivals, you need dancers, you need concerts, you need events, because you need to bump into people. We need to bump into people. And I think when everything opens up, there’s going to be a big demand for fun, for festivals, for events, for concerts, away from the machines, because people know the machines don’t deliver. The machines deliver infrastructure, connectedness and information, but they don’t deliver intimacy, trust and love. And what people want is intimacy, trust and love. Yeah, but it’s, it’s back to the motorways and the coefficient. We’ve built the motorways, but we haven’t built the intimacy, the trust and the love yet. And so I think once we get out of the current situation, which is probably, we’re probably a year, 18 months of getting to the other side of this, this virus and who’s to know what else is going to happen. There’s going to be a massive demand for physical random connections, whether that’s on the beach, in a bar, at a festival, at a concert, at a seminar, at a conference. We’re going to see people coming out and, and choosing, choosing to randomly ask questions of one another, to bump into, to be social, to be what we’re good at. I hope you’re right. I don’t, I don’t see that coming, because I mean, this retreat from the real world, that way preceded COVID, has nothing to do with COVID. In San Francisco, people turned sour, I don’t know, in 2014, I blame it on the Facebook algorithm, might be something else. But that’s so ingrained. I think COVID, yes or no, it doesn’t really make any difference. People are so bought into that mindset, and it, it somewhat seems to work for them. Yes, they have the loneliness, but everything else seems to have gotten so much easier. Wow. So you, you think this Facebook algorithm in 2014 created the disconnection and the loneliness? Well, for me, the, I, what, what might be a read is, is basically when you think about Instagram and Facebook 2012, 2013, before the algorithm switched to engagement, right? It was basically who you’re following, and then these people will see it kind of in a random manner. And there was this huge inflation of likes, everyone would get likes all the time. And what happened in 2014, and you see it now, you have pages of 80 million followers on Facebook, they get like three likes, because it has zero engagement, it’s not shown to anyone. So what, what happened is you, you, you created this, this, this, this connection to the limbic brain. And most people just kept, didn’t get the likes anymore. So it was this huge deflation of likes that depressed people. First, you know, you give them, it’s like the person who gives LSD to the kids on the playground, you give them the first fix for free. And those were all the likes that were very inflationary. And then they realized, oh, it’s really prone to spam. And then you change it to this engagement algorithm, which is very strange because it basically only measures the limbic brain. And then we had this huge deflation and people turn sour. And since then, and hasn’t changed, they run around with the sourness, we want more likes, but then they have become to accept that loneliness and they feel that life is still gotten easier. And I think this is a bargain with the devil. I’m not, I don’t think it’s, it’s right. But when I see the demand around me, people all act like this. And I don’t, I don’t, I certainly, there’s no rational argument to get them out of this. Wow. A bargain with the devil. I like that. So we’re living an easier life, but we’re more low. We’ve had to get more lonely to live it. Yeah. So we’re living easier, lonelier lives. Yes. So the loneliness is recognized, but it’s more of a problem with side problems, like a side effect, right? Say you have a car and you put a catalytic converter on it because you can’t do electric yet or hydrogen, right? So we put catalytic converters on. So it’s kind of the side effect we treated it. But, you know, 20 years later, we realized, well, we still have emissions, just slightly different emissions that we didn’t treat for the catalytic converter. I think that’s what’s happening to mental illnesses. I think, I think you’ve got a book in there, Torsten, easier, lonely lives. Yeah. Because I see that, I see that in the next generation, they have everything. They have everything. They have all the information. They have all the technology. Yeah. They’re not interested in random connections. They’re interested in easy life. But maybe that’s what we are ultimately after as humans, right? Yeah. But what about fun? People want to have fun. They want to sing. They want to dance. They want to bounce around the place. You can’t really do that online. I don’t know. Maybe it’s this layer of, maybe alcohol helps. Maybe it strikes me. A lot of people are rediscovering a lot of psilocybin, ayahuasca. Maybe that’s what it takes, right? Maybe it’s rediscovering of certain drugs that change your perception. And then, then you get out of that mental picture that you drew for yourself. Maybe that’s the answer. Not that I’m really endorsing it. I’ve never tried it myself. But maybe this is where this comes from. I don’t see, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t see a trend reversal with this loneliness yet. Maybe it will happen overnight. And I just was wrong. Well, I’m going to keep campaigning, building community with my wife, as I have done for the last 25 years, and building small intimate groups. So I might not be able to reverse the trend, but I can still build groups of love and support and business around the globe. So I’m going to keep, I’m going to keep doing that because I still want the big text to take more responsibility with their capital. Two things that you branded. And I thought that’s really cool. You have two ways of behaving in social media. One is called CSC. The other one is ORS. Maybe, maybe you can tell us a little bit about that. Okay. So this came to me in June 2009. I was sitting on a board. I was on the QXL Ricardo board, PLC for from 2002 to the end of 2006, almost 2007. And I noticed when you’re a board director of a publicly listed company, you had to be closed with all the information. You couldn’t let any of the information out because you could mislead the market. You had to be very selective what you said and what you shared with people. And you had to be in control of everything. And that’s the behavior you have to have in a publicly listed company as a board member, as an independent director or an executive director. You’ve got to be closed. You’ve got to be selective and you’ve got to be controlled. And that was the experience. I was sitting on that board of QXL Ricardo PLC at the same time as Building Academy, where you had to be the reverse. You had to be open to everything. You had to accept all the random connections. And you had to be supportive of everybody. There was no, there was no power of control. And so really, the offline world, the boardroom road, the publicly listed company world is CSC. It’s closed. It’s selective and controlling. And it has to be like that to protect shareholders. The online world, the community building world, the network world is open, random and supportive. So they’re the inverse. And I think that’s why we have challenges with connectivity and loneliness. They’re like the inverse. We have loads of information, but we have no trust. It’s like the inverse. And so the, I don’t know whether you’ve seen the show on Amazon, The Man in the High Castle. Have you seen the show? It’s a whole series of the, it’s a book written in the 1950s, where the Americans and the British and the Russians do not win the Second World War. The Germans and the Japanese win. And they defied America between the Germans on the East Coast and the Japanese on the West Coast. And the Americans have a neutral zone down the middle. It’s a fantastic story. But it’s basically the opposite of what did happen. And then they show these different worlds, what they call the multiverse. And what we’ve got with the internet is we’ve got this multiverse environment where you can play, you behave completely differently online than you do face to face. You get lots of information online, but you don’t trust the information. You have massive connectivity online, but you’re, you’re lonely and you, and you lack intimacy. So we have these two worlds. And in our brains, we’re trying to compute these two worlds, but they are different worlds. And the ORSCSC analogy was to try and communicate to people. It wasn’t a case of ORS was right and CSC is wrong or CSC is right and ORS is wrong. They were just two different worlds, two different minds. And when you’re physically present, particularly in a boardroom, you have to behave like this. And when you’re online, you have to behave like this. And that was my breakthrough in June 2009. And I stuck with it. I trademarked it. I wrote books about it. I spoke with conferences about it. And it’s just a useful label for people to know how to behave. Yeah, I never heard it before. And I think it’s, it’s, it’s extremely useful to put that into, to put that into a category of what we are doing out there. There’s, there’s so many things that are pre programmed into our brain. To me, it’s staggering. And I had this discussion with Michael Grosjean a little bit ago about free will. We seem to be pre programmed in so many avenues, and our subconsciousness creates and scans so much and only gives us access to so little information that actually hits our consciousness. When you keep thinking about that, it’s a little scary. And I think the same is true with communication, right? It’s something where we feel it’s like in, it’s like in something native we do. It’s something we, we’re social animals. But there’s so many pre programmed layers, not just how we encoded, but also how we react to the other person on the other side. But so little we actively control, right? So that someone is yawning, we start yawning. So I’m going to smiling, we get in a better mood. Maybe that’s what happened also with social media. We first time we hacked ourselves and we had these pre programmed things that worked for us because obviously we had descendants of the people who it worked for. And who had then made their life better by understanding this subconsciously. But now with social media, we have these, these memes that just go wild that make everyone depressed. But we don’t really know what happened, right? Because suddenly we were in this rabbit hole and we’re like, whoa, this is terrible. And I feel this myself, right? When I read something on Twitter that makes me highly emotional, I can’t think of anything else. Like often I’m like, and then later on, I can reflect on it, but even with training and having a certain kind of, kind of separation between me and my Twitter account, I feel like this is terrible. Like I can’t escape it even if I want to for a certain amount of time. And then obviously it goes away. And this, I don’t know, just never happened to me before. But now I can get it on a daily basis. I can get my fix positive or negative. And then I feel really good or really, really negative for a while. And then it’s, it leaves me empty after that. Yes. So the thing is, taking it back to RS and CSC, you’ve got to remember your two people, there’s two versions of, of Torsten. There’s the physical you, and there’s the digital you, and they’re not the same. And I know we’ve referred to our conscious and our subconscious, and you might liken it to conscious and subconscious. But, but the way you behave on a machine is not the same one as the way you behave with a human. It’s not the same. Even though you might be talking to a human through that machine, you don’t communicate the same way as you do physically. And you don’t think the same way. You don’t behave the same way. You don’t rationalize the same way. You don’t consider the same way. It’s different. And so I think people have had to learn to live with kind of like a pseudonym or a second version of themselves. So this is my digital avatar. This is my physical avatar. This is my profile. This is my suit. And I think we’ve had 30 years of this now online. And we’re the first generation, you and I are the first generation of people who’ve been through that 30 years of being born digital, of being digital people. And I think, because it’s only because I’ve been online so long, longer online than offline, and now thinking, Oh, blimey, so it’s 32 years online and 25 years offline. What do I really like? Well, I like offline. Online is a machine I have to use. But what do I like? I like offline, I like walking, I like tennis, I like festivals, I like concerts, I like singing, I like traveling. You know, those are, I like those things. This digital world is online. Oh, this is just machines. I just have to play with these machines to pay my rent. This is just a machine based game created by some Silicon Valley engineers for us all to pay our rent and effectively work for them typing and as our fingers type, they make money from the data. And I think these two worlds are a shock for people to realise. That’s why I use the analogy of the man in the high castle. We’ve had to learn to live with two versions of ourselves. And I think that’s also a big contributor to the mental health issues as well. Yeah. I just, when I look back into the last 20 years, a lot of positive things, if not all the positive things in my life came out of the Internet. Not if they didn’t come out of Facebook and they certainly didn’t come out of Twitter. But maybe, you know, if sometimes for me it’s hard to trace these sources where I thought came from. And I really don’t know where the original idea came from. Maybe someone told me, maybe it was encoded in a tweet, maybe it came from a book. I find it hard to reflect on that a while later. You’d have to make a list. You should make a list of all the positive things and see where they came from. That’s actually a good exercise. All the upside in my life came out of the Internet. I’m very confident on this. I mean, in my business life, but also my personal life, the way I, you know, I grew up in a very different place. I grew up in Eastern Germany, the way what I learned, those you had access to books, but they were all encoded. You couldn’t tell the truth in Eastern Germany. So you needed to encode it, but you could still encode the truth in something. And the way, how I changed over the years, the wisdom that I found, I don’t know if I could have done this without the Internet. I’m not sure if I would still be alive, but probably more suicidal would have ended up like Nietzsche not making great books, but being as suicidal as he was and as depressed. That’s probably what have been my problem. But the Internet took away that problem, right? If Nietzsche would have had the Internet, I think you would have been a much happier person on Schopenhauer. Maybe, maybe. But I think you should make a list of all the positive things and see how many of them actually came from the Internet and how many came from a physical experience as well. Because you should separate a digital source from a physical source. Just and Adam, do you think maybe it’s true that based on your personality type, the Internet might be great for you or might be terrible for you? Yeah, for sure. Definitely for sure. And I think if you look at the people who build the systems, the engineers, the software makers, the manufacturers, the creators, they’re primarily closed, non assertive, introverted people, like engineers typically are. And so the people building the systems are building them with that mindset, closed, non assertive, introverted, which is why these levels of control, as you called earlier, all these options and choices that we’re presented with to take us back from people, qualifying it, qualifying it, qualifying it. I think if you’re much more open and extrovert, unless you, until you learn how to use the tools, it would be a very scary world to learn how to use all these systems. And we’ve all been forced to learn how to use these systems to get our value, to watch Telly, to do our business. So yeah, I think it’s a big shock for people. And I think because we’ve had 30 years of it now, we’ve had 30 years of the World Wide Web, we can say, okay, we’ve done a generation of the internet. But the next generation of the internet is us beginning the process of merging with the machines, with the network. And we see the beginning of neural link, we see recursion. We’ve already done that, right? I feel like we will be in the middle of that process. It’s not like we can’t set a time to it. It’s already happening. And we’ve always had systems that were bigger than us, more clever than us, and we merged with them, say the weather, right? It doesn’t care about us. But those pods in your ears, they’re not in your head. This phone is not in my head. All of this technology is going to come inside us in the next 30 years. We will become one with the network. We are less than 25 years away from merging with the network. Do you think that’s a negative? Yeah, it sounds like that’s like the worst thing that could happen to us. Do you think it is necessarily negative? No. No, I think it’s the natural evolution of humans and machines. Humans are curious. They want to get better. Machines are different. They want more context. Machines are hunting context because they have no feelings. So machines want feelings and context. Humans want more efficiency and performance. We want performance, efficiency, intelligence, results, return on capital. So we want what machines can give us. Machines want contextual awareness. They want intimacy. They want what we have. So this machine is merging with this machine. And it only takes a generation. It only takes 30 years, and we’re in it now. Yeah. And the watches on our hands, the things in our ears, the Bluetooth pills that we’re going to take to monitor our physical health, we’re absorbing the machines. But I don’t think people have realized the machines themselves, they are a species merging with us. They’re not just robots and chips. They’re going to have sentience. They want us. They’re eating us, and we’re eating them, and that’s the merger. This is very powerful software. And the singularity, if you look back the technological singularity, which will happen in the 2040s, is similar to the singularity events that we refer to when we refer to Adam and Eve or Jesus Christ, or cells coming from the sea and walking up and becoming an ape. These are major interventions that happened in the world. The loss of the dinosaurs, the rise of the cell, the fish, the human, the ape, Adam and Eve, mankind, flying to Mars. We’re walking into a major technological singularity, a major event in the 2040s. You and I will be in our 70s and 80s. We’ll just take the upgrade because we won’t have much time left. So we’ll just take the upgrade, go down the store, get ourselves upgraded and see what it does, because we’ll be close to death. But the next generation… I promise me we can all be 20 year olds again, and that’s actually happening just before the singularity. So we might not be as desperate, but we certainly need to pill or whatever injection every couple of months, so beyond the hook there. So we’ll be in trouble if you want to live forever. But we’ll be half man, half machine in this 30 year generation from 2020 to 2020. Are we already? Because when nobody knows how the brain developed, we can’t control it, we can’t rebuild it, we can’t even rebuild the liver, we’re idiots, and we feel that we have some kind of control. It’s kind of like a machine that one day wakes up and says, now I’m 70 and I have full control. I’m like, you’re not. You’re based on billions of years of revolution and maybe some alien intervention. And you can’t rebuild yourself in a heartbeat. So unless you can replicate yourself in a heartbeat with full control, your consciousness stays the same. You don’t know anything and you already are a machine. Okay, you can argue a human is a machine. Yes, you can. We are very powerful software and the reasons you just said are accurate. But Jack Ma was on stage with Elon Musk a couple of years ago and I really liked it because Elon Musk is the mega brain and Jack Ma is the real human brain. And they were sparring over intelligence really and I’m not sure they were sparring over intelligence or wealth or ego or all of it at the same time. But Jack Ma said a knowledgeable man knows what he wants, but a wise man knows what he doesn’t want. And he said and Elon Musk was talking about AI talking about the machines taking over the world and AI would threaten mankind. And Jack Ma said, look, let’s put it this way. Mankind can make machines. Can machines make mankind? And the answer is no. But mankind can make machines. But the thing is, the machines that we’ve created, they want to be like us. And the machines we’ve created, we want to be like them. But there will be the machines in need, the same kind of answers we found. It’s like DOS and Windows where we are now. We think we’re sophisticated, but we’ve got connectivity and loneliness. It’s primitive where we are. We’ve got information and no trust. We’ve got tons of connections and depression and mental health issues. We’re right at a primitive stage, but we are advancing very, very fast. And when I say to people that this is the last generation of humans, people panic, but I see that merger as a positive thing, that we’re enhanced, upgraded, augmented. And then we can achieve these things of moving to other galaxies, other planets, building other worlds. And mankind will do that because mankind is curious. And once through those things, we’re not satisfied with playing football or making love. It’s good. Those things are great, but they’re not enough. Yeah. Say this to the Amish people. There seems to be part of us that seems to be very happy of what they have. They don’t want any other technology. But I call this the new testament or more or less the old testament art that basically ventured out and realized we don’t want to be hunters and gatherers anymore. We want to pray to this higher God of technology. And that’s what we’ve been doing for the last two and a half thousand years or five thousand years. And we really came along quite a bit. And I don’t see a scary future either. I think we’re going to be we’re going to be a master to many other challenges in our life. I think we have a good shot. What this leads us to, I don’t know if you’ve thought about that. And I think you have is the family paradox, right? If other civilizations and we have billions of populations out there, billions of planets and no populations, maybe we do, they must have gone through the same process sooner or later, right? But they have, we have not been able to communicate with them. That might be because we’re looking for the wrong signals. There might be, there’s lots of assumptions that might be wrong. But strangely, there seems to be no direct communication. And if all civilizations sooner or later go through these upgrade processes, and it seems to be a path we had at somewhere, not everyone’s convinced of this, but I would say we are headed somewhere clearly or more complexity and we’re less intrepid. What is going on with the universe? Are the other people out there who are the other sentient beings who’ve been through this through this process and they look at us or they kind of upgrade us from time to time? What’s your take on the family products? Well, so this is like the meaning of life question, isn’t it? Of course, of course, second hour comes. Okay, but look, we know, we know to travel to other galaxies. The fastest we can currently travel is 25,000 miles an hour. In order to go at the speed of light, that’s 600 million miles an hour. That’s how much faster we’ve got to go. That’s not a factor of 10 or 20 times, even a thousand times. We have to improve performance by 100,000 times. It’s a million. It’s with everything in technology. I know, I know. But we have to improve performance by that amount must take two to three generations. Because we don’t even know if we could build a machine that went that fast, whether our bodies would explode inside it because we don’t know what it’s like to travel at the speed of sound. But I agree with you, all these problems will be sold, but they won’t be sold by us in our current form. We have to merge with the machine. So I see that as inevitable and I see it as positive. Are there other people out there just like us? Yeah, I think there are. I think when we get to these other planets, they’re in mind, they’re many light years away. So we won’t have this information for 50 to 100 years. I think they’ll be either further ahead of us or further behind us. But I think we’re the aliens. And I think it’s us who are going to be arriving on the planets, at least not me, but on future generations. But we’re the aliens that we’re all scared of in ET coming off the ships, walking down. We’re the aliens and we’re going to crack it. We’re going to solve it because of our curiosity. Yes, I think there are probably, we hear that there are a billion galaxies, that there are a trillion planets. There is likely to be some similar event. Whether you call it the singularity, whether you call it the Big Bang, whether you call it God, there have been some similar events in the universe, which I think would have created its creatures similar to us. Just on the basis that we’ve been a very successful race for probably a million years now from the endothal man to where we are now. And we’re supposed to come from fish in the sea. Sounds like I’m outing this. Are you thinking of alien intervention? That’s kind of my theory. There’s a constant upgrade going on. Every couple of million years, someone comes down, gives us an upgrade and sets free evolution again. Well, that’s the singularity, isn’t it? Whether it’s an alien intervention, whether it’s Adam and Eve, but the difference now is we know, we know we’re going to merge with the machines in the next 30 years. We know we are. People might choose not to do it, but we know we’re going to do it. What we don’t know is whether we actually have to travel to these other galaxies, thousands of millions of light years away, or whether we can see people in other dimensions, or just across the road. And we know there’s a lot of empaths appearing around the world who can see things forward and can see things back and describe in detail. So we think it’s millions of light years away, it might be just in the room next door, and we just don’t know how to access it. Yeah, a lot of people have that experience with psychedelics, right? So they can see, they describe it as a multidimensional world. It’s something they feel like often, it’s a consciousness that’s closer to our reality, but they can’t really describe it when they come back into our reality. And we feel like we’re cool. You don’t have to have psychedelics to find people who can see those worlds. Plenty of empaths can see those worlds right next door to us. But we can’t access it somehow. We can’t bring it back. And like, I always, my argument always is, well, if that’s true, if you are able to access this multidimensional space and you see something there, shouldn’t that multidimensional space give you access to some superior knowledge? And then you bring some of it back, even if it’s just like a little brain, and you should be God, right? Or you should be at least a billionaire. You should buy a Tesla. Or you should know how the sports race work goes next weekend. But they don’t. They seem to be cuckoo in the edge of society. Something is odd there. So there seems to be no superior knowledge in them. I think you’re speculating there on total nonsense, the idea that people would go to another world, bring some knowledge back, and become a billionaire. I would say that’s total nonsense. Personally, I think we’re going to have to build ships and go to other galaxies to find people like us or similar to us. And we’ve got to learn how to travel at the speed of light. And I think in order to be able to build a ship that can travel at the speed of light and improve our performance, we’re looking at these two, probably three generations, I think. So that’s really a long time from now. But I think what we’re all addicted to now is the upgrade. You mentioned the upgrade. We want to be healthier. We want to be taller. We want to be fitter. We want to be slimmer. We want to eat better food. We want to have a Tesla. We want to have an iPhone, Pro, Max Plus, whatever it’s called. We want to be a billionaire. We want to be a dot com. We’re obsessed now with upgrading. And we’re constantly upgrading ourselves and upgrading our lives. And the technology has made us hungry for more of that. I think now we want to upgrade our minds. We want to upgrade our senses. We want to upgrade our knowledge. We want to upgrade our connections. We want to upload our subconscious to the cloud and leave all our connections and history for the generations behind us. We don’t want to statue in the park. We want our subconscious in the cloud so they can download all our connections and networks and knowledge. The whole change has happened that we’re living in a world of constant upgrade, upgrade, upgrade, upgrade, upgrade, more apps, more knowledge, more connections, more information, more, more, more, more, more. And as a result of that desperate need for permanent entertainment and curiosity, it’s inevitable we become one with the machines. And perhaps the singularity, perhaps there is an intervention at that point, because half of the world, half of the religious world believes in some kind of Adam and Eve kind of story, some kind of God intervention, and the other half believe in evolution. And you tend to find that it’s often a blend of these ideas that comes through in the end. So I don’t know, I don’t have any foresight or insight, but I do think in my lifetime I will be one with the machine. Yeah, we’ll let you. Have you read The Twelfth Planet, Sakurai Sitius? Yes. So it’s a fascinating hypothesis that brings all these things together. You just talked about right there, the religious instinct that he was very Jewish in and very conservative in his belief, but he also brings all these science fiction elements, how time goes, where these people came from, what they did to the humans, how we have different kinds of humans, why people in the Bible seemingly all live 4,000 years, but then after the flood they don’t. So he brings a lot of mysteries that are in these creation stories together and that illuminates it very well. Obviously it’s a work of fiction, but it sounds like, man, this could have actually happened. Maybe not exactly like that, but it really illuminates and it’s a short book, right? It’s 100, 200 pages. Well, I think in many ways our lives are not like fiction because you can’t figure out your life ahead of time. We all live a different life. We all have a different perception of life. We go to different places. We have a different understanding of the world. We have a different interpretation of the world and of life. So we might all be living in that fiction together and we try and get comfort from one another, reading a few tweets or watching a few YouTube videos, but maybe the whole thing, as Elon Musk says, is just one big simulation. I’m convinced it is, but the question then becomes on what level, right? Is the whole universe assimilation or it’s just our part of the universe assimilation or… This is why… Matrix only, the Earth. This is why, Torsten, you have to watch the man in the high castle. I will. I will. It’s on my list now. Because they cover all of this in this story and you feel very cleverly as well, very cleverly covered and much, much cleverer than any of the previous stories we’ve seen of former fiction writers. Just so clever how they’re giving you the choice to consider. Here’s another choice. Consider this. Oh, here’s another choice. Consider this. Here’s another choice. Consider this. And to me, it’s the closest thing to everything we’ve discussed over the last couple of hours. And therefore, if you believe it’s a simulation, I’m happy to accept it as a simulation. Isn’t it fun? That means we’re inside the simulation making this video now. Yeah, it’s all simulated. It’s just we’re just arbitrary for someone else’s intelligence. Well, I don’t know what it says about us. Anyway, Thomas, thanks for doing this. I really appreciate it. Thanks for taking the time sharing your views. It was awesome. I hope you can edit it and get some value out of it, Torsten. Oh, absolutely. No editing. It was great. And when the calendars match again, let’s have you on Clubhouse. Sounds great. I’m looking forward to it. I’ll get my knife and fork into your brain and see if I can pull out the nuggets you’ve pulled out of me. Okay, sounds like a plan. Thomas, take it easy. Talk to you. Bye bye.