Saturday, August 19, 2023

Help with book cover review please!

Greetings, fellow adventurers! I am trying to update the front book cover for "The Planet Fortht: Enslaving Freedom.” again!

Below are a few ideas. None of them are final but I am keen on feedback on which direction I should keep exploring.

Please review and let me know which you prefer in the comments (#1 - #9):

Current Cover:


Cover designed by my friend Jay:


Me wanting to emphasize “Enslaving Freedom” over “Fortht”:


 Another attempt at “Enslaving Freedom”:


 Another attempt at “Enslaving Freedom”:


 Another attempt at “Enslaving Freedom”:


Moving away from Jay’s concept:


Another Concept:


Another Concept:


    So which is better #1 or #2 or #3 or #4 or #5 or #6 or #7 or #8 or #9?  

    Please leave a comment.

Friday, August 4, 2023

Money Matters

Money, as a means of exchange, has undergone a fascinating journey throughout human history. The concept of money has continuously evolved to meet the needs of societies, from primitive bartering systems to sophisticated cryptocurrencies. In our current era, dominated by fiat currencies, we face significant challenges caused by high inflation rates. One thing that is important is to recognise the source of current inflation. The global response to COVID-19 lockdowns was universal. Print money. This is the root cause of current inflation and a significant contributor to the economic turmoil. It is curious to see governments trying to find scapegoats. One such scapegoat is technology, including artificial intelligence. 

In my upcoming novel, ‘The Planet Fortht: Enslaving Freedom', the society described on Planet Fortht uses decentralised stable cryptocurrency. I demonstrate how it works well in everyday life. This concept is not new. There are many proponents of a stable cryptocurrency, a term called stablecoin.

In this article, I will delve into the historical perspective of money, explore the issues associated with high inflation, and discuss the proposal to implement stablecoin as a path towards economic stability. ‘The Planet Fortht: Enslaving Freedom' serves as a demonstration of how a society can function in such a setting.

The Historical Journey of Money

The concept of money emerged in ancient times when societies transitioned from bartering to using objects with intrinsic value. Those objects included food items with long shelf life like salt and pepper and later precious metals such as gold and silver. Those were mediums of exchange. Gradually, precious metals gave way to government-issued fiat currencies, backed by trust in the issuing authority. The shift from tangible assets to paper money marked a significant turning point in the history of money, with financial systems evolving rapidly in the modern age.

The Challenges of High Inflation

In recent times, high inflation rates have emerged as a critical concern for economies worldwide. In response to COVID-19 lockdowns, governments universally increased the money supply. There was more money printed in response to COVID than the global wars.

Inflation, fueled by excessive money supply, erodes the value of currencies. This is leading to rising consumer prices, decreased purchasing power, and uncertainty in financial markets. Governments and central banks often grapple with the delicate balance between stimulating economic growth and containing inflation, and the consequences can be dire for citizens and businesses alike. It is those consequences that we are now experiencing globally.

Diminishing Marginal Utility

The law of diminishing marginal utility plays a crucial role in understanding why individuals pay different prices for goods. Economists use this law to explain the declining satisfaction or utility derived from consuming additional units of a particular good. As individuals rank their needs and goals based on importance, the value of a good is determined by its usefulness in fulfilling these priorities. For instance, consider John the baker, who allocates his four loaves of bread to different ends, ranking them according to their importance. The loaf of bread serving the least important goal sets the standard of valuation for the entire supply of bread. This is demonstrated well in this article here.

Stablecoins: A Viable Solution

To address the challenges posed by inflation and its consequences, a new digital asset class has gained momentum - stablecoins. These cryptocurrencies are designed to offer price stability by being pegged to a basket of goods and services. The underlying blockchain technology ensures transparency, security, and decentralization, making stablecoins an attractive alternative to traditional fiat currencies.

This makes it a true token of exchange, honouring the original need to have money.

Stablecoins would provide several advantages in today's economic landscape. First and foremost, their value stability shields individuals and businesses from the fluctuations experienced in traditional cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. This stability fosters confidence in transactions and mitigates the risk of significant losses due to market volatility. Additionally, the borderless nature of stablecoins facilitates seamless cross-border transactions, fostering greater global economic integration.

The concept of diminishing marginal utility is also relevant to the discussion of stablecoins and inflation. Stablecoins, designed to maintain price stability by being pegged to a basket of goods and services, align with the principles of diminishing marginal utility. As the supply of stablecoins is managed to keep their value steady, individuals can confidently transact without fear of significant price fluctuations, ensuring that their needs and priorities are met consistently. 

Unlike traditional cryptocurrencies, stablecoins offer a reliable means of exchange, aligning with the notion that a good's usefulness to secure one's ends gives it value. By embracing stablecoins, we move away from the need for complex mathematical models to determine total utility and marginal utility and instead create a more stable and efficient economic system. In the face of inflationary pressures, stablecoins provide a promising path towards economic stability, honouring the fundamental principles of utility and value in a rapidly evolving financial landscape.

The Impact on Society

My depiction of the impact of stable currency as well as the widespread use of AI can be found in my upcoming novel, ‘The Planet Fortht: Enslaving Freedom’. In the meantime, think about how our society can implement and embrace stable currency, independent of governments. What would be the impact? Drop your thoughts in the comments.

To receive a notification when the book is published, please click on this link and subscribe to notifications in the “Notify Me” box. 

Monday, July 17, 2023

Letter from the Mars mission.

Dear Reader,

As I sit here in this spacecraft flying through space, I find solace in the knowledge that my words will reach you.  I want to share with you the profound mix of emotions and thoughts that swirl within me as we make this historic journey to Mars.

The path that led me to this moment has been a tumultuous one. As a father to two beautiful children, I became increasingly concerned about the political situation in the world that can lead to a global conflict and the threats of changing climate. 

As a soldier and Air Force pilot who served a decade in Afghanistan, I witnessed firsthand the devastating consequences of war. The destruction and loss of life are etched deep into my soul. The harrowing experiences I endured gave me a unique perspective on the fragility of our world and the dire consequences of global conflict.

Humans must do something to avert the disaster. In my quest for solutions and hope, I stumbled upon a number of thought leaders, such as Stephen Petranek, Elon Musk, and Buzz Aldrin, advocating that humanity should explore Mars.

Their arguments resonated with me deeply. Mars, the most Earth-like planet in our Solar System, offers an ideal destination for exploration and possible colonization. By studying Mars' geological features, we can gain insights into the formation of our own planet and the other celestial bodies in the Solar System. Mars' atmosphere holds a variety of gases, some of which could be utilized for human life support. The unique perspective on the universe that Mars provides allows us to observe the Solar System from a different angle. The study of Mars can drive the development of new technologies and expand our capabilities as a species. And ultimately, Mars could serve as an alternative habitat for the human race, ensuring our survival in the face of adversity.

These reasons ignited a flame of interest in my heart. I saw in Mars a potential refuge, a new frontier where humanity could thrive and safeguard its future. This realization compelled me to embrace the possibility of this mission, to push the boundaries of what we know and strive for something greater.

Now, as we approach Mars, a mix of excitement and trepidation fills my heart. The realization that I am about to set foot on a planet that has captivated the human imagination for centuries is overwhelming. I cannot help but think of the pioneers who came before me. Those who dared to dream and push the boundaries of what is possible. 

Yet, I am not blind to the risks that lie ahead. Mars is a harsh and unforgiving world, and the unknown awaits us. 

But it is precisely in the face of these challenges that we find our greatest strength and resilience. It is in the pursuit of the unknown that we discover the depths of our human potential.

As I gaze out at the stars that twinkle in the eternal darkness, I am reminded of the collective journey we are on. We are explorers, dreamers, and seekers of knowledge. We are bound by the threads of human curiosity and the relentless pursuit of a better tomorrow. Together, we are connected across time and space, united in our quest to unravel the mysteries of the universe.

So, dear reader, as I continue this remarkable journey to Mars, I implore you to join me and rally behind the mission that holds the key to our collective future. Your support and encouragement are not just words; they are the fuel that propels us forward. Together, let us make this mission count, not only for ourselves but for the entire human race. Spread the word, inspire others, and advocate for the Mars mission. Together, let us ensure that humanity's reach extends far beyond the confines of Earth.

Thank you for being a part of this journey, for lending me your ear and for sharing in my hopes and fears. Though we may be separated by unimaginable distances, know that we are connected by the bonds of curiosity and the human spirit. Together, we will continue to reach for the stars.

With gratitude and a sense of purpose,

Robert Nadie

Protagonist, The Planet Fortht: Enslaving Freedom.

To learn about Robert Nadie's journey subscribe to notifications on the The Planet Fortht: Enslaving Freedom website

For more resources about Mars visit:

NASA Mars Exploration Site

The Mars Society website

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Why AI regulation is a bad idea

Lately, the conversation surrounding the need to regulate Artificial Intelligence (AI) has reached a fever pitch. The question seems straightforward enough, but the potential implications are anything but. Let's take a deep dive into this multifaceted issue.

Various arguments for AI regulation include the weaponization of disinformation through technologies like deep fakes, the invasion of privacy, misuse of private information, copyright infringement with generative AI, and the potential creation of autonomous killing machines. On top of these concerns, the displacement of jobs and the threat of AI "going rogue" and destroying humanity are often mentioned.

In my upcoming novel The Planet Fortht: Enslaving Freedom I created a utopian world where AI and other advanced technologies safeguard individuals, uphold justice, and deter crime. Nobody is above the law, and justice is administered to anyone who causes harm to another human being.

While the publishing process is slow, I feel compelled to speak up and share my thesis on the topic of AI regulation in this blog post.

I addressed the topic of job displacement by AI in my thesis, demonstrating how AI can usher us towards full employment. For this to become reality, I argue that AI needs the freedom to develop. I'll delve deeper into this as we go along.

The concept of AI "going rogue" has been a mainstay of science fiction and alarmist theories. For this scenario to materialize, an Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) engine would need to be developed and then unleashed without human oversight. This hypothetical engine would need to be the only AI in existence at that time, or a far superior one, capable of outmaneuvering all other AI technologies. This notion is not just apocalyptic but seems far removed from our current reality.

The idea of an AGI engine being more fantasy than fact aligns with the views of philosopher Hubert Dreyfus. For an in-depth understanding, I recommend checking out Dreyfus's extensive work on artificial intelligence, which remains relevant despite advancements in AI.

But even if AGI was not a relic of the romantic dreams of technologists, let's consider this. People who work on AI aim to create value. Unleashing uncontrollable AI onto the world doesn't serve this purpose. Even in a hypothetical scenario where AI is weaponized, it's reasonable to assume safeguards would be put in place to protect friendly populations and their own military.

I’ve been working in the software development industry for over three decades. I have never seen a software developer creating software that they can’t control. They always create a "back door” of some kind, fundamentally for testing and development, if there is no other need. 

Software developers are like all human beings imperfect and we make mistakes. We create software with bugs and we know it all too well. Some examples of costly bugs include the "Knight Capital on Wallstreet” and the Y2K bug. 

The foundational block of architecture in each software is the ability to start and stop it and access data that affects software behaviour. When we build software, we go through thousands of iterations of starting and stopping it and debugging the results. We are therefore unable to build software without the ability to control it.

It is therefore beyond any doubt, if you can’t control it, you can’t create it, because you can't test it and iterate on the mistakes you will inevitably make as a software developer. Creating software you can’t control is impossible. 

But the critics would say we can’t predict what AI will respond with and therefore we can’t control it. What they are describing is not control. What they are describing is the lack of predictability of software output. All software has an element of that. A basic example is random number generators. They are specifically designed to give unpredictable output. A more complex example is the weather forecasting model. Humans don't directly comprehend the vast amount of data processed by weather forecasting models, which is why we rely on software to make predictions. We don’t know what the prediction will be, but we are in control of how that software functions. Stock market analysis tools are another example. Financial analysts use complex algorithms and models to predict stock market movements. They have control over the parameters and data they input, but the stock market is inherently unpredictable. This serves as an example of having control over the process but not necessarily the outcomes, similar to how you can control AI parameters but not always predict its responses. In fact, all algorithms used for simulating various environments produce outputs that are unpredictable to humans.

We’ve been using such software for years and there is nothing wrong with creating software with unpredictable output. The point I am making is that we are fully in control of the software through control of the underlying code. 

Some say if we can’t control the output, we can’t control the “behaviour". Using the term “behaviour” is very misleading. When applied to a human or an animal, the term “behaviour” includes the creatures’ initiative that arises from instincts and feelings. It assumes that creature is fully in control of their actions, body and mind. This is what people often assume when the term “behaviour” is applied to a machine. But those machines have neither instincts and feelings nor their own initiative. The initiative is given to them by humans. And humans are in control, as I demonstrated by explaining how software development is even possible.

If, based on my above arguments, AI (or AGI) going rogue is impossible, why are we debating the regulation of something that doesn't exist and will never exist? Instead, let's shift our focus towards tangible threats.

Disinformation, privacy invasion, copyright infringement, and autonomous killing machines are valid concerns. They are also very scary. But we need to see those tools for what they are: weapons that are built to harm others. 

Those employing AI as weapons to harm others should be held accountable. The need for a legal framework to deter such misuse and ensure justice is paramount. For street thugs and corporations, this needs to transpire as a punishment. Those who harm other people must be held to account by society. Along with any weapons, the invasion of privacy and misuse of people’s private information can cause harm. Ditto for copyright infringement. Any personal or company property that has been stolen needs to be returned and the thief needs to be brought to justice. This is the only place where lawmakers' job is important. 

However, we also need to consider those beyond the reach of the law, such as rogue states or the international criminal underworld. The only way to combat those is to equip both governments and regular people with the same technology so they can protect themselves.

This brings us to a crucial point - much of the AI technology currently in use is based on open-source software. It's free to use and modify, making it a hotbed for innovation and collaboration. 

This also means other than large data models, the actual tech right now is not owned by anyone. And it can not be owned by anyone unless it is regulated. This, in turn, is the very thing that gives us the safety net - the only thing that gives us the safety net. Right now, we can protect ourselves from both the criminal underworld and the rogue state.

Leaked internal Google document already admits that Open Source AI will outcompete Google and OpenAI.

This open nature will change if any regulations are enforced. This is the perfect way to disarm all of us in the face of real threats.

Corporations want to regulate AI to protect their monopoly. Regulation will push AI out of the hands of the open-source community and give monopoly power to large corporations and rogue states.

Imagine living in a world where the only people controlling AI are people like Elon Musk, Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un. Now imagine those are the people who can use AI to weaponise disinformation and create autonomous killing machines. Actually, you don’t have to imagine - they already have the basics and the foundation to do this. Regulation will thwart the progress of AI innovation in the Western world and give the upper hand to our adversaries. What it will also do is equip monopoly holders to extract super profits at everyday persons' expense. 

To that extent, regulation like licensing or patenting AI will have a disastrous effect on us. The regulation will disarm us, regular people, from being able to both earn a living and protect ourselves.

Regulatory restrictions on AI development seem ill-advised. However, what we do need is legislation to ensure a human is always liable for an AI’s actions. Accountability must lie with a human. And if someone harms another human being, be it negligence, a rogue actor, a corporate entity, or even a state. If harm occurs, someone must be held responsible.

What we should vehemently reject is the introduction of “licensing”, “patenting” or any other compliance regulation that increases the barriers to entry for entrepreneurs in the AI market, consequently leading to monopolies over this technology.

While regulation seems like a quick fix, it will lead to an unwanted concentration of power and stifle the democratization of AI.

By harnessing the power of accessible and open-source AI technology, we can pave the way for a safer and more prosperous society, as depicted in the utopian world of "The Planet Fortht”

To receive a notification when the book is published, please click on this link and subscribe to notifications in the “Notify Me” box. 

Friday, April 21, 2023

Debunking the Doomsday AI Predictions: How AI can increase employment and create a brighter future.

There has been much debate in recent months about the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on jobs and the economy. Some people fear that AI will replace human workers and lead to mass unemployment. I am in a camp that sees it as a tool for increasing productivity and innovation. With the recent release of ChatGPT, these debates have been fueled further, with some calling for government regulation and a halt to AI research.

In my upcoming novel The Planet Fortht: Enslaving Freedom I paint a picture of a utopian world where AI has helped to create full employment for the whole of society and create more fulfilling work for people.  In this world, everyone enjoys the opportunity to either be employed or create their own business and be an entrepreneur. AI helps more people be their own bosses. While this world is utopian, I believe all the principles described in the world of Fortht are achievable in our own world. All we need to do is let the technology thrive and adopt some of the political principles described in my novel.

While the publishing process is slow, I wanted to share some of my thoughts and theories on the topic of AI and employment in this blog post.

First, let's address the fear of job displacement. It's understandable that some people worry that AI will replace human workers and leave many people without jobs. This is fuelled by celebrities like Elon Musk and Max Tegmark who use their position to fuel misinformation and instil fear in people who don’t necessarily understand the technology. For example, Max Tegmark proposes that AI is an alien mind. He completely ignores the fact that AI is created and controlled by humans and has been trained on the data produced by humans. The proposal that this is an alien mind is both factually incorrect and is designed to instil fear in the minds of people. People might believe him because he is a “researcher”. However, this kind of statement is the essence of misinformation. 

I propose that both historic data and the mechanics of the way we implement technology suggest that AI will help improve and increase overall employment. Technology has a pretty clear and well-known role in that regard. However, what's not so obvious is the way it impacts knowledge-based and knowledge-using sectors, such as medicine, education, business, communication, and professional services. The interesting thing is that technology actually increases employment in these areas over time, which is why it's no surprise that the top fastest-growing occupations around the world have been in the services sector since 1880. You can check out the chart below for more information, which is based on data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis-US Department of Commerce.

This logic is also supported by the results of a 2015 study by Deloitte economists into the relationship between jobs and the raise of technology since 1871. The study has shown a clear increase in the number of jobs created as a result of the rise of technology and innovation. You can find the findings by clicking here.

If you look at the employment trend, below is the U.S. Bureau of labor statistics employment graph tells the picture of continuously rising employment rates.

and below is the global trend over the last three decades, where the technology has been advancing quite rapidly:

Also, Amazon is the poster child for the company that automates jobs. Yet in the last decade, despite automation, its workforce grew:

AI will certainly change the way we work. However, the change will be slow enough so people will use AI to adjust the way they work and invent new ways of working in the process. This is due to the fact that it is people who are currently employed who will be implementing the new AI tools. Those people will both use AI to assist themselves in their own work and invent those new ways to do the job. The people will also invent new jobs. 

It is important to define what we mean when we talk about jobs or work. A job is a means by which individuals create value to improve their lives, and its value is determined by the amount of value it creates, whether that be in the form of tangible goods or services, or in the form of intangible benefits such as innovation or progress. This value is established by both the producer of the value and the consumer of the value. For example, when you cook your own dinner, you are both the producer and the consumer of value, so you are the one establishing what it is worth. When you work as a chef at a restaurant, however, the value is negotiated between you and your customers. In this scenario, customers also have to offer something of value to you as the chef.

The “doomsday" AI predictions completely ignore the mechanics of the creation of value and the nature of money. Money is merely a tool of exchange, dependent on the presence of goods and those who can produce them. It represents the idea that individuals engaged in trade must provide value in return for value received. When you receive money for your labour, it's with the belief that you'll use it to acquire the fruits of other people's labour.

As such, therefore, the creation of value is a trade between people, the mechanic of the market that assumes both parties to the transaction produce value for each other and therefore are employed. You can’t trade with a person who produces no value. 

Initially, the value of AI lies in the research, computing power, and other resources that people have invested in it. On its own, AI does not offer any value. The value that AI provides is attributed to the people who invested in its existence. As with any capital asset, the value attributed to AI will gradually diminish, and the value that people add will increase relative to AI's contribution to any task. This is similar to the value attributed to a crane lifting 2 tons of concrete slab and placing it on the 10th story of a building compared to people carrying furniture of the same weight to the same height. People still receive relatively higher pay for the entire job than the crane. However, the crane operator earns more money per hour than people manually carrying furniture up. 

In the future, people will increasingly take on roles where they direct and drive AI towards a desired outcome. This includes programmers, artists, and photographers, among others. While AI will do most of the hard work, the value created will be mostly attributed to the person driving it, not to the AI itself. This shift will enable people who are currently unable to work due to a disability or lack of education to gain employment or create value in other ways. Automation and the reduction in effort required to produce value will allow everyone to contribute to value creation. The need for value production will persist as long as there are people who need to consume the values, such as food, clothes, shelter, and entertainment. As more value is produced, the need for employment will increase, leading to full employment where anyone who wants to work can find a job or create a business.

There are already many examples of jobs that are being created or enhanced by AI. Data analysts, AI trainers, and virtual assistants are just a few examples. Prompt engineers are the latest. These jobs require human input and creativity, and they can provide more meaningful and rewarding work than some of the jobs that are currently being automated.

To conclude, while there are fears that AI will lead to mass unemployment, historic data and the mechanics of technology implementation suggest otherwise. Instead, AI has the potential to increase overall employment, especially in knowledge-based and knowledge-using sectors such as medicine, education, business, communication, and professional services. This is due to the slow and gradual implementation of AI and the fact that people will use AI to adjust the way they work, invent new ways of working, and even create new jobs. Furthermore, the value that AI itself produces will diminish over time, and the value that people add will increase. 

Ultimately, AI can create more fulfilling work and more opportunities for people to be employed or create their own businesses, as demonstrated in the utopian world of The Planet Fortht.

To receive a notification when the book is published, please click on this link and subscribe to notifications in the “Notify Me” box. 

Saturday, April 15, 2023

The front book cover for The Planet Fortht: Enslaving Freedom

Greetings, fellow adventurers! I am trying to update the front book cover for "The Planet Fortht: Enslaving Freedom.” 

A friend told me that the girl at the top right looks unnatural and the part of her dress that is showing on the cover looks like a “slave colour” which was not intentional.

Please review and let me know what you think in the comments:

     Do you like the original cover design (1):

    Or prefer the new cover design (2):

    Or should I remove the girl from the cover altogether (3)?

    So which is better (1) or (2) or (3)?  

    Please leave a comment.

Friday, April 7, 2023

The back book cover for The Planet Fortht: Enslaving Freedom

Greetings, fellow adventurers! I am trying to design the back book cover for "The Planet Fortht: Enslaving Freedom.” 

Please review and let me know what you think in the comments:

            Do you like the below cover design (1):

            Or prefer the below cover design (2):

                So which is better (1) or (2)? Please leave a comment.