It’s the day after the 2020 election as I write this. It looks as though Joe Biden will win enough states to win 270+ Electoral College votes. Let’s assume, for a moment, that legal shenanigans ensue but end with no change beyond more anger. What then? …


Nobody, lying on their deathbed, ever said: “I wish I’d attended more conferences”

COVID’s not going away fast, and we must be prepared for future pandemics, and for a world with lowered use of fossil fuels. Conferences aren’t coming back in their old fashion, at all. What happens next?

Associated Press image from Engadget www.engadget.com/2019-01-06-live-from-ces-2019.html

I…


“The power of population is so superior to the power of the earth to produce subsistence for man, that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race.” Thomas Robert Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population Chapter II. Originally published 1798.

The Malthusian prediction: apocalypse…


Beyond the walled garden

If you’re a disgruntled user of social media, or an entrepreneur or investor seeing opportunity in the wave of disenchantment, you’re wondering if alternative social media are important, or is “just” creating more walled gardens a bad idea? Instead, do decentralized intermediaries, such as Twitter’s BlueSky, ActivityPub and Digi.me, show…


How hard, and how expensive will it be to convert most, nearly all, of the world’s energy consumption from fossil fuels to non-fossil forms? Here are a few, fresh anecdotes to show that, just perhaps, this should not be as complex, difficult or expensive as critics project. And therein lies the problem.

Example one: converting ferries

Washington State is moving (slowly) toward converting its ferries from burning heavy diesel oil to all-electric and hybrids. …


If you’ve graduated from a U.S. university, you get a degree and a piece of paper that includes the words: “with all the Rights, Privileges, and Honors thereunto appertaining” or some such, perhaps in Latin. …


Most people, it’s fair to say, know nothing about cyber-security.

As an example, consider the statistical analysis of British National Cyber-Security Center: it projects that as many as 23 million people worldwide use 123456 as an online password. It’s not as though consumers don’t know that cyber-security is a worry…


(originally written in September 2018; updated in November 2019)

Bitcoin, blockchain, decentralized ledgers, smart contracts. This domain emerged just in the past 10 years, and already has attracted technical wizards and bankers and politicians and scam artists and lawyers. …


Saudi Aramco just filed notice of its Initial Public Offering. On the same day, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the remaining lion of the fight against Apartheid, called for an international boycott against fossil fuels, akin to that which, long ago, weakened and hastened the end of Apartheid. …


Why have a Decentralized Web?

John Patrick Ryan

Sep 27 · 11 min read

There’s a rising tide of interest in re-thinking the World Wide Web, toward a decentralized model. This piece — but of course — does not attempt to create a definitive, centralized answer. Instead, this note offers a frame for considering the…

John Patrick Ryan

Tech executive and strategy consultant. Writing and thinking about long term global economic trends. Strategy in cases where the science remains uncertain.

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