Complementarity (Mental Models XVII)

Niels Bohr proposed that one fundamental insight of quantum physics was that some phenomena or systems could be described in two or more mutually exclusive ways and that it would be a mistake to pick one description as the “right one” – both could be accurate. This violates the logical dictum of the excluded middle, in a sense, since it suggests that when we ask … Continue reading Complementarity (Mental Models XVII)

Capability forecasting

A lot of work has gone into what is sometimes called “technology forecasting” – attempting to understand how semiconductors, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, proteomics etc will evolve over the coming years. Such research is valuable and interesting – and can be interestingly contrasted with something we could call “capability forecasting”. Capability forecasting is focusing not on the technology as much on what we will be … Continue reading Capability forecasting

Thinking in indices (Mental Models XVI)

The idea of an index in economy is simple: find a way to measure a change in an ensemble of values in a single value, and then track that single value over time. The challenges are many: how do you pick the values in your basket, and do you weight them differently? Do you update them, and if so with what periodicity? And then – … Continue reading Thinking in indices (Mental Models XVI)

Geopolitical races in technology 2.0

Looking back, it is fairly easy to see that the race to the moon was a geopolitical competition, an attempt to use a technological task as a proxy for answering the question of which political system was the most robust, innovative and effective. But was we enter an age of new geopolitical races, it seems much less clear what this would look like. The first … Continue reading Geopolitical races in technology 2.0