Last year, I was inspired by a fellow friend and consciousness-evolution-furtherer, who sent a screenshot of his “100× vision” in a newsletter. I replied “I feel dared by you doing that to do something similar myself.” A couple months later, I finally wrote something up. At the time it felt too big and scary to post anywhere, but perhaps I’ve grown, or just gotten more comfortable with it, or shared it with enough people who responded positively… because I now feel pretty easeful about posting it to my blog.
I’ve written some adjacent-possible visions. This one is about 10-15 years into the future—sometime in the 2030s—and is written as if I wrote it then, in the present tense, describing what I see when I look around at my life. It’s not a complete description of what I want—it’s actually very abstract and is designed to be a sort of generic placeholder vision that many people would also find themselves wanting. A friend recently challenged me to make an actual personal vision, so I’ve now done that too and it’s called “Malcolm’s bespoke personal selfish vision” but that I’m also not ready to publish. Wants can be very vulnerable!
Without further ado: here’s what I see from an imagined place in the 2030s:
I’m deeply embedded in beautiful, bountiful, brilliant collaborative human superintelligence on many scales, of which I’ll highlight 3 below. I’m not the leader on any of these scales – to some extent because there is no single leader but also because inasmuch as there is, that’s not what I’m called to do. But I was one of the major figures getting it all off the ground years ago, because I knew I needed all of this to exist in order to be thriving this much… I wouldn’t settle for anything less, and nobody else was already simply doing it in a way I could join, so I Sourced some of it.
Since precisely *what* we’re all working on at this point is highly contingent and path-dependent on both what else has happened and is happening in the world, as well as on who’s involved, and I’m writing this from a trans-timeline perspective that’s independent of those details, I can’t specify in detail what projects we’re working on, but I can describe the rough structure of things as they look right now in 2035.
I’m part of a slowly growing group of 10-20 people who are capable of getting profoundly in sync and are thus able to actually think as well as… it’s hard to put it but something like “as well as a single human could if it had 10-20x as many neurons”. Another analogy might be “a five year old is to an adult as an adult is to this collective brain”. We’re able to solve problems better than almost any individual could (except given specific expertise). Individual wisdom is integrated—the group is wise about anything that any individual in the group is wise about.
This group is one of several that are connected, and we’ve had some splittings and mergings over the years to find better configurations of people.
We have been and are ongoingly achieving this through a combination of…
Our cognitive development has achieved, in terms of the Model of Hierarchical Complexity, at least level 15 “cross-paradigmatic”, if not 16 “meta-cross-paradigmatic”, so we’re able to fit paradigms together to form new fields, and reflect on the dynamics and limitations of cross-paradigmatic thinking. We’re fairly regularly having groundbreaking insights about whatever topics we understand well enough to think in depth about. [editor’s note: the author of this vision in 2021-2022 doesn’t purport to really understand what this means, but it seems like one obvious standard to which to hold such a collective intelligence]
We consistently experience profound experiences of collective consciousness in addition to co-intelligence. It’s hard to describe what this is like to people who haven’t even had a momentary taste of deep group coherence & co-flow like the ones I’d had in my 20s with groups of 3-10 people. It’s ecstatic and complex and very satisfying—all of which can also be true even for a group that still has major group blindspots, because within the frame of the group everything makes so much sense that it’s easy to think that the group can see everything. We’ve done a ton of work to untangle our blindspots, and part of how we do that is by actively seeking out connection with others outside the group, individually and as a whole.
Based on our skill and diverse experience, we’re able to establish rapport and non-naive trust with almost any individual or group that we have the chance to have a substantial dialogue with, while simultaneously having clear boundaries and moderating expectations.
This group is thus doing, well, whatever makes sense to it to do! Leveraging whatever leverage points need leveraging. Insofar as the ultimate leverage point (as per Donella Meadows) is “the power to transcend paradigms” a lot of attention is going to how to create learning environments for other people to develop similar levels of collective intelligence & collective consciousness. But of course there are tons of other problems that need to be looked at in the meantime, which we actively collaborate with other groups to solve. Having a conversation between a subset of this group and some other research team tends to yield valuable breakthroughs due to the generalized collective intelligence, so we consult with people working on important problems.
Which starts to get into…
Man cannot live on meta alone, so all of us in the collective brain are also part of a larger distributed meta-team of people that’s doing things like rapidly prototyping new products or services or workshops or environments… creating art & music, running grocery stores, writing books or articles on topics, creating businesses, tackling research problems or global catastrophic risks that humanity needs tackled. People become members on this team via a complex referral process that is hard to explain and has a few stages. Our process started somewhere similar to where Enspiral was in 2020—see this video of @Malcolm_Ocean & @RichDecibels.
There are multiple clusters in this meta-organization, and my personal appetite & skillset has me mostly vibing out in the sector that’s doing a lot of design of systems people use—software, hardware, ideas, events— and I’m contributing my design eye to the interfaces. There are lots of people who are able to build things, and they have a remarkable capacity to listen, so when someone in the group has an idea, we share it with the meta-team and if a small crew gets excited they make a prototype happen (within a week or two for software projects, or longer for other projects). I’m also of course talking with people working on less meta projects, and observing their workflows to figure out what they’re needing.
I’m not the only visionary though – many people are Sourcing different initiatives at various scales. People are fluidly able to move between projects based on their skills, appetites, and learning edges. People who are sourcing one or more initiatives are also helping other initiatives. What gets prioritized is a function of what people have appetite to work on, in the context of everything.
This meta-team is effectively one where everyone there is working their dream job, while simultaneously getting a quality of learning + development + therapy/trauma-untangling that is basically unavailable everywhere else, both in general and in particular around self-love-based self-energizing motivation and collaboration. We’re incorporating what we know about the brain (from Coherence Therapy, Alexander Technique, PCT, right hemisphere stuff, and much more).
The annual tens of millions of profit from these projects is collected by those projects directly, so that people who’ve demonstrated the ability to execute get more capacity and have aligned incentives with success, but also partially gets automatically reinvested into other projects. People are also encouraged to use surplus resources to fund other projects in the group.
The projects in the meta-team are sufficiently profitable that we’re generating enough revenue for everyone on the meta-team to get a guaranteed minimum income that they know they’ll have for at least a decade—probably indefinitely. This guarantee is secured via blockchain so that even when people leave they’re still financially supported, preventing people from feeling trapped if the relationship or specific culture isn’t a good fit. And we’ve had a few people do this, or take a long break in order to do slower-timescale personal work.
But of course, people can get trapped for psychological reasons, not just financial reasons. Fortunately, they have other places they can go…
This collective brain and collective body are themselves part of a larger network of other similar superorganisms, which sometimes overlap somewhat. This network also includes more self-contained companies that are operating using a similar self-energizing collective-intelligence-oriented culture (eg Roam Research) and probably some of those companies were initially incubated in the “collective body” level.
These superorganisms form a kind of virtual economy, in the same sense that a country or city has an economy. Part of what makes there be an economy is that economic activity is WAY cheaper within the clusters that mutually recognize each other as part of this new Game-B-esque attractor, due to increased capacity to do trust-building and coordination. This economy is able to be remarkably creative and productive compared to the rest of the world even though we’re operating in ways that aren’t built on the false accounting of externalizing costs, and thus has huge net exports (to the old economy) of an increasing number of goods & services, and is well on its way to outcompeting or converting Game-A businesses until finally Moloch eats itself.
Update: I’ve also published a more adjacent-possible so-close-you-can-taste-it version of essentially this same vision: An illustration of the adjacent-possible meta-team vision.
Constantly consciously expanding the boundaries of thoughtspace and actionspace. Creator of Intend, a system for improvisationally & creatively staying in touch with what's most important to you, and taking action towards it.