About Existential Relevance

Hello. I’m Michael.

This substack is a research project exploring how we can upgrade our civilization’s operating system. This newsletter explores how our current operating system came to be, which improvements would be helpful, and how we can make an upgrade happen.

I chose to do this as a substack to receive feedback, so fire away! The goal of this research is a project proposal to improve how our civilization functions.

Human civilization has been winding and weaving its way into the future for millennia. From a biological perspective, modern humans are roughly 300,000 years old, with “civilization” starting somewhere towards the end of that timeline. Our civilization is a patchwork system of ideals and institutions sitting on top of a global communications & transportation network. This patchwork has gone through ebbs and flows and failed experiments, but has ultimately enabled the flourishing of our species. In 2022, we will hit 8 billion living humans on Earth, an all time high. In that sense, we are winning.

Institutions like an economy, government, or religion represent key elements to our operating system. Since these institutions influence our day to day decision making, if they push us in a bad direction, then in a bad direction we will go.

While it is theoretically possible for an individual person to make decisions completely outside the influence of civilization’s operating system, in practice it almost never happens. The point is, we are at the whim of our operating system, and our future depends on that OS leading humanity somewhere good.

My goal with this substack is to determine a strategy to upgrade civilization’s incentive systems. Civilization’s OS currently runs on outdated versions of “government, economy, religion” software. It’s time for an upgrade.

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A research project exploring how civilization could focus on more meaningful work.