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On rewiring the world

From the nomadic footpaths of the first people to orbiting satellites that spin the world wide web, humans have laid out a complex layer atop the world at an accelerating pace.

Short migration paths following food sources came first, small settlements next. Shipping routes emerged to overcome unsurmountable geographies. Trade routes were established, connecting regions, countries, and continents. 

Swiftly then came global rail, road and flight routes. Supply chains and electrical grids. We developed trade, transport and energy networks, which acted as communication highways too.

It wasn’t just goods and people that made their way across borders, but languages, traditions and customs, arts, skills and knowledge - connecting us in unexpected ways.

Information moved faster and faster through these networks. But data transfer wasn’t quick enough. 

At some point, telegraph cables beneath the seas paved the way for the current communication networks that connect us all around the planet. 

As we digitised ‌information pathways, we eroded the physical constraints of the space we lived in. Social media replaced not only legacy broadcasting but also community by proxy. New digital railways replace legacy financial ones.

The rewiring is never complete.

Connecting with anyone in the world with ease, the flows of information became harder to manage. To the point where we started building barriers, moats and dams to protect ourselves.

Data tries to flow unbound: information wants to be free.

The communication layer we laid out upon the planet is a sense-making network. As we rewire the world, we reshape and transform how we interact, engage and understand ourselves. Changing the way we do business, politics and everything in between.

The ground shakes beneath us and new geographies rise. What we once took for granted is now displaced, repositioned and redistributed. Around us, everything is changing, moving and transforming.

One thing is certain: we cannot know what’s coming. 

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