A futuristic story about Silicon Valley and Rio de Janeiro

A futuristic story about Silicon Valley and Rio de Janeiro

With long and well-storied history, today Silicon Valley appears to be franchising globally. Differing names and varying messages, still (silicon valleys) complete with widening circles of resource and influence and the best damn toolbox humanity ever created, the growing collection of exponential technology tools.

To many observers, the promise of exponential technologies out of Silicon Valley seems limited to gadgets, drones, riches for someone and visions of a grand long term techno-future. Yet with the power of the exponential toolbox, is there anything really interesting coming out of the world’s silicon valleys in 2015?

Indeed there just might be something else. A powerful but narrowly broadcast voice speaks to solving humanity’s grand challenges, food, water and energy being front runners. This voice comes in part from those that can mobilize exponential tools and exponential people, yet the voice and its disruptive message still seek global impact, exponential impact.

Humanity’s Grand Challenges Inc/Org might serve to describe this voice, keeping it simple for thinking purposes (siliconvalley.org).

The 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro promise to be widely watched television globally for a number of reasons including: it is Rio, unprecedented promotion, it is Rio, almost ubiquitous global television or streaming, it is Rio, futebol (soccer), it is Rio.

The Olympics might be the only feel good story around for much of the world in need of a bit of a distraction in the summer of 2016. And it is Rio.

The world’s cameras and televisions, (the worlds eyes) will be in Rio during the Olympics looking for a feel good story. Smells of opportunity for siliconvalley.org.

As things stand, when the worlds eyes arrive, fine and grand sporting facilities at considerable cost to the Brazilian national wealth in the heart of Rio will dominate in the spectacular view. Early on, the worlds eyes will also see the nearby beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema and Barra as well as povo, cultura, samba, cerveja and churrasco.

In time the world eyes will gaze over to and up the hills immediately behind the beauty to poverty known as Favela da Rocinha, the largest of Brazil’s ~15,000 favelas populated by ~15million soccer watching fans. The officially 65,000, unofficially many times that, occupants of Rocinha live tough within eyesight of both the affluence and the opulence of the Olympic venues. As the worlds eyes tepidly walk into Rocinha, as they surely will, the feel good story the world desires starts feeling not quite so good. People are worried!

On the other hand, if the worlds eyes walked into Favela da Rocinha…..and, as an illustrative example:

Were met by smiling enthusiastic energetic guides from Rocinha…..and the tour starts.

Visibly and immediately, things are getting done, things are being built, everyone looks industriously busy. Smartphones, tablets and wifi are ubiquitous, people are communicating, the place is humming…..this feels good!

Turning a corner, rows of vertical gardens appear growing all manner of staple vegetables and exotic fruits. ‘Modular water filtration and recycling units and aquaponics’ explains the guide ‘are part of the vertical garden systems and soon the entire eco-system of Rocinha. It will be all solar powered with the very latest in technology as you can see by what we have done so far.’

A hub of activity can be seen around a set of small shops. Looking closer, 3d printers, a prototype 4d printer, cnc machines, 3d digital design equipment, servicebots, like Jim Newton’s Techshop only moda Rocinha. ‘A nossa fabrica additiva’ our additive factory explains the guide, ‘Ideas become reality almost overnight’.

The world’s cameras grow curious,’just how does such advanced technology get into the hands of these humble people, how did they learn to use these technologies, to build, to modernize, to grow gardens vertically, to clean up their water system. And the health care system they are building!’

A guide leads the worlds eyes further up the hill to to a long narrow simple building with several marked doors, some with recognizable logos . ‘A nossa embaixada’ beams the guide with pride.

Pointing past the NGO doors to a recent futuristic looking add-on to the building, over the door for the world eyes to see: siliconvalley.org

So anyway, just a futuristic story from a seasoned old roughneck.







Crowd Power (A bit of roughneck philosophy)

Crowd Power (A little roughneck philosophy)

The crowd is made up of us, almost 3 billion humans interactively connected, to varying degrees by the internet and smartphone cell coverage. Many of us, though by no means all, are using the power of the connected crowd mostly for self interest and triviality. Together with nearly 13 billion sensors and tech tools from home alarms to rhino protecting drones we form the Internet of everything (IoE).

Over the course of the next five years to ~2020, the crowd will double to about six billion people connected by and to the IoE, ~50 billion people, sensors, tech tools and toys.

As smartphones, the IoE and their successors become ubiquitous, by 2025, ~8 billion people will be hyper-connected at speeds of at least 1Mbps. Around 5 billion new crowd members, almost 200% growth in a decade. Powerful, very powerful!

These new crowd members, ~80-90% impoverished, will likely join the crowd motivated differently than the first couple of billion. Many will experience growth in access to knowledge and information at an exponential pace while living without basic human necessities and dignity.

Unprecedented awareness of the very latest in interests, innovation and exponential technology will come with equal awareness of the distant abundance of the few.

If this awareness is not supported with benevolent leadership, substance and practical assistance, as this emerging evolutionary entity matures, becomes self aware and powerful, its personality is likely to emulate that of its mentorship or worse. Much worse.

Vision2025 is about: ‘an 8 billion strong hyper-connected, hyper-cooperative, hyper-productive crowd of humane personality working to build and do amazing things and experiences with increasingly amazing technologies and growing abundance’.


If the crowd is not on board and in on it well before 2025, the future may not be so bright. The harder road to the future.

Humanity needs to scale the democratization and demonetization of the fruits of its labors and disruptive exponential technologies. The easier road to the future.