Well hello ladies and gentlemen, it’s Paul Spooner again with the Paul Spooner Podcast.
I am driving the old route back home these days because my family is all back in the United States. They all got on a plane and left me here all by myself. And, as a result, I don’t need to be home in any particular hurry. And so I’m taking the slow way, and that gives me some time to think and a place to get some food on the way home ’cause… I would rather not prepare my own meals. That’s just kind of not something I’m particularly interested in. So I usually get something at the convenience store. A sandwich and some oni-giri, maybe a little bit of salad or something. And it also gives me time to talk about stuff.
So I’m working on this idea of starting a corporation. I’ve got lots of ideas may or may not come to pass, but if they were to come to pass it seems like it would be useful for me to have a corporation to tie them all together. To put as an umbrella for all of these crazy concepts that I’m trying to make real. So, things like the ocean colony stuff that I’ve been working on for years, and this Fledgeling artificial intelligence stuff that I’m trying to figure out. You’ve seen on my blog (I’m sure (EDITORS NOTE: though I can’t say how I’m sure. Why should you read my blog when you can listen instead?)) the swarm machining, or the Swarm Manufacturing… deal. And so, that, and then there’s tension cranes and, oh, what else? Tempered spheres (glass spheres), and weight savings for space stuff… these disparate industries where the market is not being served properly. So I’d like to solve that problem and maybe make a lot of money in the process.
So, I want to start a corporation. The thought process has kind of been (and as with all things I’ve talked this through with Andy Wilkinson. He’s been my second brain for a lot of these projects and a very good friend, so I’m not coming up with this on the fly, this is something I’ve been working on for a while here, but) the process was trying to figure out, “If I’m going to make a corporation, what kinds of things would I like to do with it?”
One of the things I’d like to do is build really big stuff. That is just really cool to me. Building giant things. And so one of the things that I’m thinking about is integrating a lot of different things. And this kind of works in together with the swarm machining concept of being able to have a very large volume that’s precisely controlled using laser trackers. And building things that are very big necessitates that you justify that structure.
And one of the ways that we can justify things, that we’re not doing currently, is by integrating different services, different structures that require a structural framework into one structure. For example, there are bridges all over the place. Bridges need to be strong; They need to be able to withstand a significant load, so they’ve got these large structures. Some of them are even hollow inside. Some of them are girders, so you can build all kinds of stuff inside the structure. But they are empty. They are designed only to be bridges. They’re not designed to be anything else.
And it seems like a waste.
You could design a bridge that’s also, just by way of being a structure, an apartment building. Or a warehouse, or some sort of office complex. I don’t know, whatever it is! And make it a space that is designed for multiple purposes. It is a bridge, but it’s also, you know, something else. Sometimes they do this with pipelines. You’ve got a pipeline and then it’s also a foot-bridge. And I think that’s a great example of using something for multiple purposes. You’re already building the structure. It doesn’t cost that much more, the marginal cost of increasing the structural strength a little bit so that you can have people walk on it, and add a railing, it’s almost insignificant! So you may as well do it, and then you can have all these different things in the same building. It’s a more efficient use of our resources, it’s a more efficient use of space, because then you don’t have all these things next to each other; They can all be in the one structure.
I think it also has a great advantage of being…
When you build a bridge (’cause bridges are a cool example (’cause they’re really big and they’re expensive to build and you want to be able to pay them off as quickly as possible)) so, when you build a bridge a lot of times it’s designed to be able to be inspected and painted. It has to be maintained; It has to be kept up. And it just kind of seems really goofy to me that you would build a bridge and then pay people to go there but not pay them to live there! Why would you not provide a space for them to live? If they’re going to be going there anyway.
And then, as long as you’re building a space for them to live, you’d just as well build a bunch of spaces for everyone to live (lots of people) and then those people can provide the inspection services! They can just be there! And it’s like “Hey! There’s this big crack in my wall! Come and fix it!” People are going to report these kinds of things, and then you don’t have to pay anyone to inspect stuff. They’ll inspect it for you just as a matter of living their lives, and if there’s some sort of leak somewhere, they’re going to notice! They’re gonna be like, “Hey! There’s a leak here! Come fix it!” and you’re going to be like “Oh, thank you so much for telling me… now the bridge won’t fall down… in addition to… your room is fixed.”
So, stuff like that. It just seems like, “Why aren’t we doing this?”
I suspect it has some sort of legal ramifications. You have to have insurance, or it has to be a certain building code, or whatever it is, but I think those things are… not important.
I’m not interested in trying to keep the letter of the written law. I’d rather just keep the law of love. Doing things that are good for people; Doing things that are profitable, things that help everyone, and then not worrying about the law. Because then you can be like, “Alright, well, we’re just not going to worry about it. We’re going to do this because it’s the right thing to do, and if people don’t like it, they can sue us, I guess, but we should be able to defend ourselves in court because it’s the right thing to do. We’re doing the right thing. We’re making this in a way that is beneficial to everyone.”
So I don’t know if there are any companies that have that view. I think most companies are more interested in sticking to the letter of the law and then using that to justify as much immoral activity as possible. Where I would like to go the other way around. I’d rather just forget the written law, and if we run afoul of something it’s going to be okay because we’re going to be able to say, “Look. We understand the spirit of this law. The spirit is to help people have better lives, and that’s what we’re doing, so whatever it is that you have an objection to, go bother someone else.” So, I don’t know if that will work. I mean, maybe I’ll be sued into oblivion the first time I build anything, but we’ll see!
The Scripture says “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control; Against such things there is no law!” So, foundationally, fundamentally, there can be no law against doing the right thing. And any law that puts itself against that, I think is in direct opposition to God, and I can just say to God, “Look! This person thinks that they are keeping the law, but they are actually breaking it. Take care of it for me.” You know? Because that’s… God loves to do that! God loves to take vengeance on injustice on behalf of people who are doing the right thing.
I think it will work out. And if it doesn’t, it’ll be interesting anyway.
So, that kind of thing, I’d like to be able to do with my company. Stuff that people would be like “Oh? You can’t do that.” And just do it anyway because it’s the right thing to do, not because it’s legal or illegal or whatever.
So, as a result, just kind of thinking this through, it’s like, “Okay. I want to be able to do these kinds of crazy things.” I want to be able to do things where people would say, “Well, that’s not right. You shouldn’t! That’s not the way things are done!” and as a result I’m kind of expecting that people will form an idea about this company that it is somehow evil. Because it doesn’t have respect for the written law, the laws of man, that is therefore necessarily an evil corporation, an evil group of people trying to do something, trying to get away with something. And I don’t think there’s any way around that. I think any group of people who is trying to do something radically good is going to get flack for it.
So instead of trying to (and I see this in so many companies (Oh, and this is the other thing). So many companies, so many people, are trying to be good. They are trying to earn their goodness. They’re trying to earn the approval of man (They’re trying to earn the approval of God sometimes.) by doing “good” things. And so they want to be seen to do good things. They want to be like, “Hey! Look at me! I’m so good. I’m doing all this great stuff. Aren’t I Great?” But I don’t care about that! Christ saved me! God is my salvation! I don’t have to look good to be good. I don’t have to worry about if people think that I’m doing the wrong thing. I’m not going to do the wrong thing on purpose (sometimes I will fail, certainly, and I hope that I will be able to atone for that, temporally, but). In an eternal sense, I’m not trying to earn a place for myself. That’s already been bought. And so I feel like there’s a huge void in our culture (because our culture is so focused on this humanistic, temporal, pseudo-morality that’s based on people’s oppinions of you) I think there’s this huge void for a company that is the kind of company that doesn’t worry about looking evil. And, in fact, kind of revels in the mythos of “We don’t play by your rules. We play by our own rules, and if you don’t like it, you’re free to compete with us however you want, but we’re going to put you out of business. Because we just don’t care.” That’s the kind of company I would like to work at, where it’s just like, “Um, sure it says it’s illegal, but this is clearly the right thing to do, so we’re just going to do it.” An incredibly pragmatic organization. (And that’s another thing! Pragmatism seems to be very frowned upon in our culture. It’s like, “Oh, if you’re doing it just because it works, that must be bad somehow! You’re being immoral or…” Pragmatism is seen as being somehow evil. And I think it’s just backward! Pragmatism is good! We should be pragmatic. In the Bible, there’s all kinds of examples of people being pragmatic, and God being like, “Alright. Good job!” Or just not saying anything about it because it’s like, “Well, that’s just reasonable.” God doesn’t have to approve of you being pragmatic! You should be doing that anyway!) So I think there’s this huge void in the market for a company that’s kind of this “bad boy” company. And I am totally okay with running a company like that. I would be happy to do that. I’d be happy to be the “evil genius” with the “evil megacorporation” with “evil” in quotes, because it’s what people would call it, but I don’t think of it that way. I don’t think it would actually be evil, but I think it might appear evil to people. And so instead of trying to go out of my way to) be like “Oh, no! We’re actually good! We’re actually really friendly to all these minorities!” or whatever. I mean, like, I don’t hate minorities, but I’m not going to go out of my way to try to make myself look like I’m doing the right thing.
I’m just going to try to do the right thing, and let the implications sort themselves out. So, that kind of thing.
And then, as long as there’s an image, because you have to build some sort of atmosphere for your company. As long as we’re going to have some atmosphere, and as long as people are going to think that it is evil… we may as well go for the theatrical evil thing! I mean, why not build a headquarters that’s all made of un-painted steel, and it rusts and it’s got rivers of rust running from it? You know? Like that kind of thing! I could have a crown and all my officers could have crowns and swords on their backs! I don’t know! Stuff like that, where it’s just like “Yeah. Yeah! Let’s go for the ‘crazy evil genius’ motif.” Because that’s really what it is, it’s a motif. And there’s so many movies recently about like “Oh, this guy’s an evil genius.” but he’s actually not, he’s being pragmatic. And it’s like, “Ohhhh, but he’s evil! That makes him edgy!” or something and it’s like, “Well, okay. Alright! Double down, let’s do this! Let’s actually make a company that runs that way! That is a profitable company, that is just flat out intimidating.” That has an intimidating “evil” presence.
And so then I started developing a logo for it, a pointed alien-head logo, and I’m having fun with it!
But that’s where I kind of ended up, was, okay, well as long as… I can see where this is going, right? Like, if I started a company and I’m like, “Hey, this is the Paul Spooner Foundation and I like to build cool stuff.” and I actually had some success, I imagine people would be like, “Well, why are you doing it this way? You can’t… You have a moral obligation to behave like this.” People have this law in their minds, this concept of what is right, and they try to hold people to it. And I’m not interested in being subject to their law. And that is… I mean, of course… It has to be, in their mind, evil! I mean, that is the definition of evil is someone who is in rejection of the law. I can see where this is going to end up…
So I figured I may as well just get there ahead of everybody and be like “Hey, here I am. This is the conclusion you’re going to come to, so let me just help you get there more quickly so that we don’t waste our time fiddling around.”
That’s a fun thing to play with. Then there’s so many fun things you can do with that! You can have really crazy hiring practices! You know, where it’s like, “I’m not trying to be fair. I’m not trying to be balanced. No! I don’t support equal employment! I am an unequal employment guy.” And, “You have to sign a waiver to work here. You have to sign a waiver saying that we can do anything to you! Medical experiments in your sleep? Yes! We can do that. If you were working for us then we can chop your limbs off and replace them with cyborg implants. Yes, we can do that. Of course we’re not going to! But we can! And you have to sign a waiver saying that we can.” You know, that kind of thing, it’s like “Ooooooh, what are they trying to do? If this is what they’re telling us, then what are they not telling us? Ahhhh! It’s terrible!” Yeah, a company could be that. A company could run like that. There’s no law saying…
Well, maybe there is a law. But there’s no real principle saying that you can’t ask someone to do rediculous things to work for you. As long as you’re up-front about it. As long as you’re not entrapping people into it. As long as you don’t change the rules on them when they’re half-way through the process. As long as you’re up front and being like, “Hey, here’s our rule-book… company manual. ‘My word is law.’ end of story.” Or whatever it is! Some sort of crazy… and it would be fun to write that up! Have some principles, guidelines that are helpful to people, but not be coy about it, not be trying to make it sound good. Just being like “This is the deal. If you are interested in this deal, then we would like to have you. If you’re not, then please go somewhere else.”
It sounds so liberating to me! When I’ve worked for all these other corporations, they’re trying so hard to “do the right thing” that they can’t actually do the right thing because they’re all tangled up in this concept that everyone else’s concept is the right thing, when it’s not. That’s not true. You don’t have to play by everyone else’s rules.
And like I said, it might implode and back-fire on me and the whole thing gets shut down by… who knows.
Who knows what’s going to happen?
But I think it’s worth a try! I think it’s worth a shot! I’d like to see what comes out of it. And at least it’ll be an adventure. And maybe it will work. Maybe it will be something that is actually valuable to people. Something where it has a scary mask on, but is actually kind-hearted and has a soul underneath it. Whereas there’s so many of these corporations that have this friendly facade, but there’s nothing inside! It’s hollow! There’s no life there! And I want to work somewhere where there’s life, where there’s real life.
And sometimes life is scary. And I think that we should just be forthright about that. Make that clear from the outset.
So another fun thing that you can do, if you’re an “evil megacorporation” is cyborgs! There’s so much stigma against cyborgs in the popular culture, and companies are afraid to touch it because they’re like, “Oh, we don’t want our image sullied by this idea of enhancing humans with technology.”
But we’re already there! We already do that! Like I said in a previous podcast, we’re already cyborgs. I’m already a cyborg! And I have friends that are already cyborgs. They’ve done it to themselves. They have implanted technology into themselves. Maybe not in their bodies, (although some of them have) but at least in their minds. The way that someone’s mind works today relies on computational technologies to a great degree. And many people have done this without even thinking about it. And the ones that I really enjoy interacting with are the people that have done it intentionally and have thought about it, like “You know what? I could be better at what I do if I assimilate this technology.”
It’s the Borg from Star Trek! We are the Borg! It’s true! It’s us! Resistance is futile, because it’s the most efficient way of going about living. We will assimilate your culture. We will adapt everything that you have to serve our needs. I mean, that is what we are. But it doesn’t have to be scary.
Although, if people want to be scared by it, that’s fine. We’re an “evil megacorporation” and we don’t care! So, there’s so many cool ideas, like “Oh, yeah. Yeah! We can do that!” I mean, that can be our by-line. What is it? “Cyborgs for your every need.” “Cyborg slaves!” “Cyborg slaves for your every need.”
And that’s another thing. Slavery! Slavery has got such a huge stigma. It’s like “Oh oh oh… we can’t. Slavery is evil.” But it’s not evil! We’re already slaves! A citizen. Being a citizen of a state means you are a slave. I can’t see any other way to define it or see it. If you want to leave, you have to have permission. If you want to go somewhere else, you have to have permission. You pay a percentage of your earnings to this government. The government owns you for all practical purposes. For every way that matters, they own you! If you try to do something they don’t like, they can kill you and no one is going to stop them. Because they own you.
So, slavery exists. It’s existed forever. It will continue to exist forever. People are always going to be slaves of something… and it may as well be me? I mean, I may as well be in that hierarchy somewhere. So, I would like to be a slave owner. I’d like to own a bunch of cyborg slaves. And I think that people should be forthright about this. That people should be honest about what is actually going on. Because what is actually going on is that people are made slaves.
There are degrees of slavery, and our culture encourages becoming a slave. If you go to school and accrue school debts, you are a slave to that whole system of “education.” You are a slave to your degree, because then you have to get a degree that produces a job that will pay for your degree (or else you won’t be able to pay off your loans.) and if you try to go somewhere else, your loans will follow you. You can’t get rid of them. You become a slave. It’s so clear.
It’s so clear what’s going on and I think people need to be more honest about it. So here’s something I would like to do in this company (in this hypothetical company that I’m trying to figure out if it’s even a good idea to start it) is, there’s a lot of expensive specialized technology that is difficult to operate. And there have been huge advances in user interface and in producing machines that are easier to get along with, but there remains (and I think will always remain) a sector of technology that is cutting edge, powerful, expensive, and useful to only a few people. And there seems to be no real reason why that technology should be made user friendly. In fact, it seems like it being un-user-friendly would be helpful because then people who are not familiar with it will not be able to hurt themselves or others with it.
So, I would like to design machines around people. To design cyborgs. I would like to design a cyborg crane. A crane is a very powerful tool. It can lift things and lower things. You could, with proper software controls, use it to do a great many useful things, like lifting things and tossing them. You could use it like a trebuchet! All kinds of stuff that you could do with a crane. But we don’t, because we have to have this interface that’s very easy to use. But if you designed it around an individual person. Around this person. One specific person. And they were in charge of it, it was their body (it’s an extension of your body. It’s a shell. It’s a mech. It’s a mech suit, really. I mean, a crane is a mech. It’s a mechanism, and it’s a suit that you wear, like, you put it over yourself. You get into it. It’s a mech in every sense that matters! It doesn’t look like a person, but who cares about that?) So if you design it around this individual then this individual can become intimately familiar with its operation and then it doesn’t need to be easy to use, because he already knows how to use it! He will make it easy for him to use, and then it will probably be very difficult for anyone else to use, I mean, he won’t have to label anything, he won’t have to have any manuals or anything, he’ll just know how it works, because he was there when it was built. He built it around himself.
And so having a corporation that’s designed around helping individuals become cyborgs I think could be really useful, really powerful in advancing useful technology, and producing this kind of culture that makes it okay for people to integrate technology into their identity.
I guess I’ve reached the end of that thought. And there we go! Cyborgs.
Cyborgs are awesome.
Oh! Ok, so here’s another thing.
A building is a very complicated machine. It’s very large. And usually you build a building and then you have to hire someone to take care of it. You have to hire people to build it, you have to hire people to survey. You know, there’s all these things! It seems like you could do all those things with a single person. You have the building be a mech. A cyborg suit. It’s a sessile mech; It can’t grossly move, but it has elevators that move, it’s got doors that can lock and unlock, it’s got fire doors, I mean, all kinds of things! So you can have an individual be the soul of this building. Be the entity at the heart of it. And this person would then know how the building goes together; This person would know the ins and outs of it; They would be responsible for it. If there’s something wrong, it’s their responsibility. It’s their building;
It’s their body. They are responsible for its actions.
So, now we’ve got these cyborgs, right? Cyborgs in the gross sense that they have a mechanical body that is identified uniquely with them and which they own in the sense that everyone owns their own body (And that’s another thing. Our culture rejects the idea of owning your own body… because we’re slaves! But anyway. So, I’d like to make these free-men. Free people.). People who are free, really free, who are not slaves, who have cybernetic bodies. Bodies that are machine and man and computer all together, working together in harmony.
But then you come to the question of, “Okay, well, if this machine is capable of many things. It’s capable of things that humans are not. It will also be capable of hurting people in ways that people are not capable of hurting people?” So it essentially creates a weapon. Any time you have an enhancing factor in human capability, you have also enhanced that person’s capability to harm people… and so this is basically a weapons company now. In fact, a cyborg weapon.
We are turning people into weapons. And that is attractive to me, and I like that idea! Because ultimately weapons are not evil, and people think they are, and so they think that this corporation is evil, and so it comes back to, “Well, we may as well embrace it in the first place.” It keeps coming around in these pretty tight loops.
So, if this is going to be a weapons company… then why not just make it explicitly a weapon? I mean, why not just put weapons implanted into it? Maybe not long-range military weapons, but weapons of the style that will be useful for a[n] entity of the nature that this entity possesses.
So, for example, if you have a body (which I hope you do (Uh, well, and actually, if you… Yes. ((You will) You have one (or you will have one))) anyway) The body that you posess has some sort of immune system. Now, it might be very poor, and it might be very advanced. Human bodies have an extremely advanced immune system. Robots, currently, have a pretty poor immune system; They really need some external entity, like a person, to take care of them, and to fend off malicious actions toward them. But if you get something the size of a building, you could have a robotic security force that is controlled by this individual cyborg, or by a very basic AI entity (or something like that) that then patrols it and keeps it safe and watches over it, and makes sure that everything is going according to plan and everything is maintained well and all this kind of thing. Then you’re building cyborg soldiers… basically… except they’re not designed for offensive actions. It’s a defensive manuver. It’s a defensive structure, the immune system is.
But, if you’re building a building, say a very tall building, it’s possible that airplanes can crash into buildings and knock them down, and if you are capable of being a building, it seems like you should be capable of defending yourself as a building. And so, probably, you’d put short-range anti-air missiles on top of the thing, because, you know, it’s for self defense! If an airplane is going to come crash into you, you’d like to be able to shoot it down.
And so, that kind of thing, it’s like, okay well then we really get into the meat of, “What is it that a government will tolerate within its borders?” Because I suspect that the United States government would not tolerate this kind of thing inside their borders. And so then, we move overseas; We move international. This corporation then would be (probably) forced out, forced to go somewhere else, go to a third-world country, or some other country that’s more welcoming toward… technological libertarianism I guess? I’m not sure what it is, but it is a very scary idea for the modern mind, to have weapons everywhere and to have these cyborgs that are controlling huge parts of infrastructure.
And to have people living where they are working! You know, it’s this idea that you have to commute to work to be… it’s some sort of ideal. It’s just nonsense! It’s incredibly inefficient! So, I’d like people to be able to work where they’re living and live where they are working. And, if this happens, I suspect that I’ll end up working at the warehouse, or the factory, or wherever it is that we’re building this stuff at. And my family will too, because why would they live anywhere else? That’s where I am, that’s where they should be too! I want everyone together. And, you know, company families.
So then you get company housing. And that is, again, this sort of idea that it’s, “Ohh, that’s evil, to have company housing? You’re trying to control your employees!” Of course I’m trying to control my employees! They’re my employees! I’m paying for their time. Of course I’m going to try to do that. And I’m going to try to make their lives as efficient as possible. As easy for them to do their jobs (and enjoy the things that they want to enjoy) as possible.
So, a lot of people have this idea that people need to be near cities, so they can go to the night clubs or they can go to these social events and things like that. And I am expecting to employ mostly introverts who don’t want that kind of thing, who would rather just sit in their room all day and all night working on stuff that interests them. And hopefully those kinds of things are things that are also profitable and so then I can just dispense with working hours entirely and just be like, “Do whatever you want. We’ll keep making money, and if we stop making money, then we’ll start firing people.” And then it becomes a commune, so then you’ve got this armed commune of cyborgs reproducing themselves and spreading all over the globe and international…
And so of course we come right back to the evil mega-corporation thing. So, there’s all these kinds of ideas that are precipitating out of my mind, and it’s just very exciting.
It’s an exciting time! I don’t know if any of this is actually going to happen, but it’s really fun to think about, and it’s helped me structure my thinking about an ideal life in our modern technologically advanced society. Because, in many ways, all modern societies are living a very backward life. We’re living in a very backward way. Considering what we’re technologically capable of, we just live in a very strange backward way. And I would like to personally not live in a strange backward way. I would like to live in a reasonable way that takes advantage of the capabilities that we have.
Because, ultimately, it comes back to love. Love is doing what is best for someone, and I would like to do what’s best for myself and my family, and I think that is going to look very scary to a lot of people, and I’m okay with that.
Thanks for listening! This is Paul Spooner of the Paul Spooner Podcast. I am at the MiniStop and I am going to get some food, because I’m hungry. Have a great evening.
Or morning… or life, or if maybe you’re in space? And there aren’t days like that? But you should enjoy the time when you are conscious…
Because it is over all to quickly.