This post is triggered by the book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harrari and is supported by data
from Mary Meeker - Internet trends 2019, cobbled together by Floorshrink
Foreword from experts in their fields
“Science does not have a moral dimension.
It is like a knife. If you give it to a surgeon or a
murderer, each will use it differently.”
/Wernher von Braun/
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating
it, people will eventually come to believe it.”
in your hand
• Unlimited computing power
• Unlimited storage capacity
• Cheap and fast connectivity• A smartphone in everybody’s hand
Always online people
• Chasing instant gratification
• Craving for dopamine
• Tremendous amount of data
• Machine learning algorithms
• Malicious intent
• Computer science
is the smoking gun
1 2 3 4
Half of the globe’s population is on the web and
carry a smartphone in their pockets
https://www.bondcap.com/pdf/Internet_Trends_2019.pdf. Slide 7
Smartphone user penetration forecast
And getting addicted to digital media
3+ billion people spend 3+ hours
a day on their smartphones.
Profiling themselves.https://www.bondcap.com/pdf/Internet_Trends_2019.pdf. Slide 41
They generate more and more data
IDC estimates that by 2025, every connected person
in the world on average will have a digital data
engagement over 4,900 times per day – that's about
1 digital interaction every 18 seconds .
The absolute size of each regional Datasphere of
the U.S., EMEA, APJxC, China, and ROW in terms of
the share of bytes generated.
Then reality bites
1. Social media unit people
2. We fear censorship
3. Only humans can be creative
4. You are in charge of your destiny
5. Lifetime job, lifetime profession
6. Truth: ”I think, therefore I am”
7. Elections are about what we think
8. Government chasing samizdat
9. War is visible destruction
1. Social media polarize the society
2. We fear fake news
3. Creativity is the benchmark of computers
4. You are being manipulated in your entire life
5. Lifelong learning at an increasing cost
6. Post truth: “I feel, therefore I am right”
7. Elections are about what we feel
8. The ban of the internet is the new curfew
9. ”Weapon grade communication methods”
Conventional wisdom The painful reality
Big Brother is watching you
What Google knows about you:
• Google Search - a history for every search
you've Google Chrome - a history of every
website you've visited.
• YouTube – your searches and a record of every
video you've watched.
• Google Maps - your location history. (let alone
• Android - tracking your phone + storing your
text messages and your app use.
• Google Apps.any data from Google Calendar,
Gmail, Google Docs, Google Photos, Google
What Facebook knows about you:
• All your friend connections
• Adds you ever clicked on
• Your likes and comments on any
• The groups you joined
• Your messages on FB Messenger
• Applications that you used within FB
• Marketplace items you checked
These guys know you more than you mother and make a living from selling this knowledge.
They are not free. You pay with your own identity.
Social media distort reality
The echo chamber and filter bubble distort and polarise.
A page from the sales pitch of Cambridge Analytica
Political brainwash in action #1
Polarise the society then tell them lies they want to
hear (eg. „We send the EU 350M GBP a week”)
Social media vs. polarization of the US society
Political brainwash in action #2
Content generated by a Russian group, the Internet Research Agency, potentially reached as many as 126 million users.
What can we do about this?
• Drop your phone in the toilet? NO
• Delete yourself from Facebook (and Google and ...)? NO
• Use Protonmail and Tresorit? PERHAPS
• Use two factor authentication for everything - YES
• Read the fine print in the license and share less!
• Demand the right to be forgotten! - YES
• Demand data ownership legislation! - YES
AlphaGo learns Go without any guidance
Humans’ ability to adapt to technological change is increasing,
but it is not keeping pace with the speed of scientific &
technological innovation. To overcome the resulting friction,
humans can adapt by developing skills that enable faster learning
& quicker iteration & experimentation.
An artificial-intelligence program called AlphaGo
Zero has mastered the game of Go without any
human data or guidance.
AI smart enough to fool Captcha
1. State-Sponsored Actor Attacks = Rising
State-Actors like Russia, China, North Korea, Iran
2. Large-Scale Data Provider Attacks = Rising
Cloud Providers / Telecoms / Data Brokers Seeing Elevated Attack Activity
3. Monetary Extortion Cases = Rising
Non-Attributable Currencies (e.g., Crypto) Enabling Anonymous Ransom Payments
4. Attack-to-Detection Dwell Time = Continues To Fall
https://www.bondcap.com/pdf/Internet_Trends_2019.pdf. Slide 207
Student loan dept is rising (not just in the USA)
Online education – what people learn (Coursera)
https://www.bondcap.com/pdf/Internet_Trends_2019.pdf. Slide 253