December 01, 2013

The reverse diaspora and Cloud cities

In The Sunday Times of December 1 2013, Balaji Srinivasan considered how the future could look. He said here:
"And we can’t know from today’s vantage point where that first reverse diaspora might assemble outside the US, or what those cloud cities or countries will be like. They could be countries formed by internationally recognised processes similar to the ones that created about 30 new countries over the past 25 years, a pattern noted by Marc Andreessen. They could be regions of the world set aside by global agreement for experimentation, as discussed by Larry Page. They could be floating cities in international waters as put forth by Peter Thiel, or one of the more ambitious 80,000-person colonies on Mars desired by Elon Musk. The specific location is still unknown; in a real sense it matters far less than the people there. 
What we can say for certain is this: from Occupy Wall Street and YCombinator to co-living in San Francisco and co-housing in the UK, something important is happening. People are meeting like minds in the cloud and travelling to meet each other offline, in the process building community — and tools for community — where none existed before. Those cloud networks where people poke each other, share photos and find their missing communities are beginning to catalyse waves of physical migration, beginning to reorganise the world. 
Will this ultimately end in a cloud country of our own, as Page, Thiel and Musk propose in different ways? We can set this as a long-term goal, like the kind of dream that propelled so many millions to exit and come to America in the first place, but it’s unclear what the future holds. We do know this, however: as cloud formations take physical shape at steadily greater scales and durations, it shall become ever more feasible to create a new nation of emigrants."

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