Niall Ferguson and Peter Schwartz debate their professions and writings as part of a Long Now Foundation event. While fun to watch from the high-school argument perspective, I would rather have seen more time allocated towards trying to construct a workable future. I mean, it's fine to officiate a public mind-share pissing-match, I just expected more from something called the "long now" foundation.
At one point in the talk, they discuss the 2008 global financial meltdown. Schwartz indicates the ur-cause lies in the "one more hit of heroin and then I'll quit" mentality on Wall ST. I think he's on the right trail: in order to get massive Fails, the majority of participants need to have individual incentives that (while short-term profitable) ultimately ruin it for everyone.
So, despite an evolution in rules (which Schwartz should have rested his argument on, instead of being led to technology by Ferguson) by which we organize ourselves, we still encounter Tragedies of the Commons. My question to the two of them would have been why? Is it merely due to short-term profit-seeking?
Imagine that you live in a slightly pessimistic future where the prices of essential foods gets spiky (like in SoylentGreenShouldBePoliticians ) and you have a choice between living in a world where: