Love doesn’t scale?

Screenshot 2023-10-18 at 19.20.03

Love doesn’t scale?

Marc Andreessen published his latest manifesto on “Techno-Optimism” Monday morning. Given his influence, it’s worth a read, no matter how you feel about his position.

I agree with many points and strongly disagree with others. Here are a few:

  • On nature: His perspective focuses solely on the brute force “overcoming of nature.” Personally, I’ve become a believer in regenerative symbiosis with nature, where technology can help us understand how to achieve greater output and mutual benefits between people and the planet.
  • On human nature: I question his belief that love doesn’t and cannot scale. Why not? We do operate on basic levels when we lack basic needs and mental, emotional, and social health. However, as we move up Maslow’s hierarchy, our motivations can shift. Transformative Tech is the application of technology to enable this evolution, initially discovered by the world’s contemplative traditions but now crucial for all.
  • On human potential: His view only contains a machine-enabled future view of humans.  This is an extension of the “man-as-machine” metaphor to “man-as-computer” and eventually to “human-as-cyborg.”  I question the metaphor.  I think it leads us into a cul-de-sac that looks like it’s going somewhere but ultimately limits our full potential.  There’s nuance though — using machines — and defining oneself as a machine isn’t the same thing.  I fully believe we will use more and more machines, however, I think we’d do well to not make that our identity.  

Last, he expresses the view that becoming “fully human” is important, but doesn’t define what that looks like. 

I believe that defining this concept in the Age of AI will be the great work of our time.

Take a read, let me know what you think.  



A sample of Marc’s points from the essay:

  • David Friedman points out that people only do things for other people for three reasons – love, money, or force. Love doesn’t scale, so the economy can only run on money or force. The force experiment has been run and found wanting. Let’s stick with money.
  • We believe the techno-capital machine is not anti-human – in fact, it may be the most pro-human thing there is. It serves us. The techno-capital machine works for us. All the machines work for us.
  • We believe intelligence is in an upward spiral – first, as more smart people around the world are recruited into the techno-capital machine; second, as people form symbiotic relationships with machines into new cybernetic systems such as companies and networks; third, as Artificial Intelligence ramps up the capabilities of our machines and ourselves.
  • We believe in Augmented Intelligence just as much as we believe in Artificial Intelligence. Intelligent machines augment intelligent humans, driving a geometric expansion of what humans can do.
  • We believe the natural human drive to make things, to gain territory, to explore the unknown can be channeled productively into building technology.
  • We believe in nature, but we also believe in overcoming nature. We are not primitives, cowering in fear of the lightning bolt. We are the apex predator; the lightning works for us.
  • We believe in fulfilling our potential, becoming fully human – for ourselves, our communities, and our society.

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