I met Jesús Pérez, a friend of my wife, while on vacation on Tenerife. He invited to guide us on a trip on the island, driving up the 3000+ meters tall volcano El Teide. While enjoying the amazing Mars-like views up the mountains, we got talking about the things that really interest us.
Jesús is a sociologist, specializing in and writing about armed conflicts and security. He explained to me how he recently got more interested into the impact of high-tech on global civil developments. Reading about Tesla and its ambitious vision for global energy, he understood how developments like these are changing the landscape of geopolitical interests.
I continued about how I envisioned a future which I would like to see develop, with not just energy going from global to local distributed, but also manufacturing, construction and food growing. And how the Silicon Valley start-up/investment model is actually an outdated model limiting innovation, how the so-called next industrial revolution is actually something very different, the role of open source in this, what the Singularity folks believe and how a major prohibiter of new social structures is the current heritage of the global monetary system.
Then Jesús asked me: “Where can I find all this information?” I began listing some of the books and websites I read and follow, which helped me develop my ideas. But he interrupted me: “That is not what I mean, where can I find your story, these ideas, the things you are telling me now”?
I did not know how to answer that, and mumbled: “Nowhere, I guess. I mean, they are in my head. Maybe I could write more on my blog.” All the while thinking about this year-long idea of maybe writing a book… maybe developing a TED-like story to tell… maybe at least write more blog posts. But I had not.
So instead I promised him to at least provide a list of the books, events and documentaries which resonate(d) and from hindsight seem to have helped in shaping my beliefs of the world, a vision of a future society and the task I feel we have at hand in this lifetime.
Jesús, this blog post is for you, some resources you undoubtedly know, probably some not and hopefully some will be helpful for you, in somewhat chronological order (oldest to newest read/watched):
- The book Cradle to Cradle, by Braungart and McDonough
- The audio book A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle
- The documentary An Inconvenient Truth, by Al Gore
- The book Built to Last, by Collins and Porras
- The book Life Inc, by Douglas Rushkoff
- The book Tribal Leadership, by Logan et al.
- The book De wereld redden, by Michel Bauwens
- The documentary The Internet’s Own Boy, about Aaron Swartz
- The documentary Who Owns the Future?, by Jaron Lanier
- The book Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, by Douglas Rushkoff
- The book The China Study, by Campbell
- The LibrePlanet conference, together with the FSF and Richard Stallman
- The POC21 event
Probably I forgot to list a few important ones here and some of these made a larger impact than others, but here you go. It would be nice to make this into an annotated list, giving the take away points I got from each and how that influenced my life’s philosophy and motivations: the developing ‘why’ understanding of my life.
And as a bonus for Jesús, check this one about opsec for journalists, by Carlo and Kamphuis 😉