Hello my fellow futurists,
I'm a bit late on my newsletter, but here it is.
My cousin passed away rather tragically from illness. We attended his funeral on Sunday, and it was nice to see family members that I hadn't seen in a long time, some as many as 20 years or so.
Two days later my daughter, Sabina, turned 4. As the generations before us die, our kids get a little older, new babies are born and life goes on.
It's a strange feeling to go from a funeral to a 4 year old's birthday in just a few days, they're opposite waves of emotion.
My daughter consistently makes me laugh with how she views the world. Having an Alexa is perfectly normal, but she's not content with a stationary robot in the kitchen that plays music, she wants one with arms and legs she can play with, like in her cartoons (me too, that sounds like fun!).
She tries to swipe every screen and doesn't understand that she can't press on my work monitor — all the screens she interacts with are touch screens.
This new generation is growing up in a very different world than we did, and it's never more apparent than when you have a little one and can see the world through their eyes.
Perhaps the silver lining of the war in Ukraine is that Europe is getting its act together. Putin has unintentionally united Europe.
Why though hasn't the EU become the United States of Europe and will it?
I doubt that the EU will become one nation like the US currently is, but they may become more unified than they currently are. Each nation-state member may give up more sovereignty in exchange for the benefits of a unified block.
I am not an EU expert though, for more on how Ukraine is changing Europe read this amazing article by Tomas Pueyo
In retaliation over Ukraine the Russians have declared they won't sell or service the US with rocket engines anymore. Russian space chief, Dmitry Rogozin, was quoted as saying "let them fly on something else, their broomsticks."
The US, however, is no longer dependent on the Russians to get to space since SpaceX has become viable.
Yesterday, SpaceX launched another rocket carrying Starlink satelites and declared, "Time to let the American broomstick fly and hear the sound of freedom!"
TLDR: Russian space dominance is waning, private space flight is booming
If you don't know who Brandon Sanderson is, he's a prolific fantasy and sci-fi writer.
Recently he broke all Kickstarter records with the launch of a campaign to pre-purchase four novels he wrote secretly during Covid.
This is fascinating because despite all the talk of the creator economy and how Web3 will enable it, Brandon's success was on a decidedly Web 2.0 platform, Kickstarter, with no tokens, DAO, or NFTs involved.
He is self publishing though, and the sheer magnitude of the campaign is both inspiring for potential authors, and a knock to traditional publishing.
If you're thinking to yourself, maybe I should check this Brandon Sanderson guy out and don't know where to start, I did the research for you, Mistborn is the book to start with. I'm about 1/3 of the way through and it's a fun ride so far.
This week I did a talk on VR, in VR, in AltspaceVR.
I've done a decent amount of public speaking engagements in my life, but this was a first for me in "the Metaverse" (I don't think AltspaceVR is the Metaverse, but definitely a proto-Metaverse).
It was invigorating, and felt very natural to talk, meet with people, and stand around after and chat with attendees.
President Biden signed an executive order to look into creating a US federal government backed crypto currency and to regulate crypto more largely.
It's both a boon to crypto and potential threat. In the meantime, it caused Bitcoin's price to rally some.
Between Covid, Ukraine, a digital dollar, my daughter getting older, and giving a talk in VR. I increasingly don't recognize the world we're in. It's not the one I was born into in the late 80s in Southern California. I'm an eternal optimist, and generally positive about the future, but it will be so different from the world we grew up in.
The times they are a changin indeed.
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Have an awesome rest of your week and see you back on schedule next week on Tuesday!
The times they are a-changin