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InfraNodus
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Welcome to episode three of The Context. This will be a little bit different than the previous two because you will actually be seeing the recording of a conference talk that I just delivered in London as part of TransVision 2019. I am going to talk to you about the challenges of adapting to the rapid changes that we are seeing in society, and the fact that our traditional systems, the schools that we attend, the workplace that trains us, society at large, are equally unprepared to make sure that we can lead a dignified life. So what are the 21st-century life design skills? How can we learn them and how can we keep learning them? Because it is not a process that is going to end anytime soon. These are the topics that I cover in this episode and I hope you will enjoy it.

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The Talk

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Thank you very much. For me, it is always a pleasure to talk to audiences like you and I wish these to be also conversations and I invite you to connect online. I'm very easy to find and of course send your questions to be discussed after our sequence of expositions, but also the questions that come afterward because exponential times are naturally complex and the uncertainty around them is such that we are not always sure what are the right questions we need to be asking. Even those who are knee deep or neck deep in issues of exponential change often forget that we are not talking about logistics curves, we are not talking about closed world scenarios. It is actually generation after generation of exponential technologies that design the curve that we describe and this acceleration has been with us for hundreds of thousands of years.

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It is technology that defines humanity with which we co-evolve. Our Dreams of creating societies that realize further and further opportunities are now what are at the basis of the fine-grained mapping of the world and of our understanding as we create a planetary superstructure and these enabling technologies are all over around us and supporting us in our daily activities. I want to highlight three of them. The Internet of things, blockchain, and AI and robotics, that, and this is an important supporting argument of my thesis, are leading unavoidably, actually unstoppably, away from hierarchical organizations towards decentralization. I am not alone in thinking this, Peter Diamandis, one of the founders of Singularity University, Fred Wilson, a prominent New York-based investor, Ray Kurzweil who is today Director of Engineering at Google and also a founder of Singularity University as well as Barack Obama.

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We are all thinking that decentralization is the future, as these technologies are enabling a new kind of society. As a matter of fact, I do believe that without solid and sustainable technologies, social and economic change cannot happen. But when these technologies become available, the change that they engender becomes unstoppable. And that is what we are now seeing because these technologies are undermining the nation-states supporting pillars and they are leading us towards a new kind of global social economic organization that I call Network Society. There are many examples that we are seeing of this already happening in energy, manufacturing, food, health, learning, finance, security, policy-making and since these are independent trends, that is why we can support the argument that the shift is unstoppable and what we need is a toolbox of new skills and new abilities that enable us to overcome our natural tendency to see the negatives to live in a state of fear.

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Bureaucracies are natural enemies in this because they are incentivized to propagate the status quo. Actually, they are elected or appointed in order to give impossibly sure answers to questions that we are barely able to articulate. They are resistant based on precautionary principles that reduce all of us to a state of defenseless infants hiding their real state of panic and overreact like an immune system that if you are allergic to nuts is ready to kill you rather than attempting of eating a nut. They have been able to slow down or even completely stop progress in many important instances, like five or six years ago when they declared that solar shouldn't be deployed in Hawaii anymore because the grid of the island couldn't take it. Or like the International Energy Agency that for the past 20 years has declared that the growth of solar is peaked and it will not grow anymore. Even if year after year, they have been proven wrong, they kept making policy recommendations and global

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infrastructure investment reports based on this tragic fallacy.

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Or, like the Food and Drug Administration that tells you that all of you are too dumb in order to be allowed to get access to your sacred code of DNA. And the priesthood of physicians and doctors are the only ones who should be allowed to read that text instead of you being able to do so directly. Or the state of New York, that after a century of being at the center of financial innovation, throwing the towel and said: "no more! the threat of Bitcoin and blockchain for our existing interests is too big. We'd better implement a regulatory environment that makes it so risky and so expensive to set up a blockchain startup in the state of New York and making it impossible." And as a consequence, after 2014, New York stopped being the center of blockchain innovation, that spread out elsewhere. Except that if it is true that this change is unstoppable, the reaction of panic is unneeded, unnecessary, even at the level of nation-states that are starting to realize that their era is over. The

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influence of nation states is diminishing as expressed in a conference in 2014 by the United States Department of State.

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The phase transition has already started, but panic is not only on the side of organizations, nations, enterprises. This reaction is also natural on the level of individuals because we feel this uncertainty in our lives regardless of whether we are enrolled in college with no clear understanding of what our professional trajectory is going to be after we graduate or whether we are in our fifties and we have just been made redundant and we are looking around for the next 10, 20, 30, 40 years of productive life we have in front of us where we need to support ourselves and our families. So we really need new 21st century skills and there have been organizations busy trying to understand what these are in literacy, where we need to go beyond, of course, being able to write and read and do mathematics. Just as it would have been difficult for the mid 20th century to hire somebody who would say: "Oh, I am perfect for this job, but by the way, I cannot read and write." Today for every

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practical purpose somebody who says: "I am perfect for this job, but by the way, I can't use computers or smartphones." They are unemployable. Equally: social skills, flexibility, adaptability, being self-driven, but being also able to adapt to reach cultural environments in an accountable and productive manner. Being able to learn and innovate through tools like Critical Thinking, collaboration, being curious and creative. During the social economic transition that we are about to see, incredible dogmatic assumptions about society are going to fall.

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If you asked the Roman slave if his life was just, the answer would have been: no, naturally not. But if you asked the follow on question, "Could he imagine a society without slavery?", He wouldn't have been able to. Just as only a hundred years ago or a little more we were absolutely convinced that child labor was essential. And actually, you can find very erudite articles in the times of London where at the mid and the second half of the 18th century, the local entrepreneurs are saying: "Please, do not pass any legislation that prohibits child labor because the empire will fall.

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Now, what are the dogmatic assumptions about society that will be as laughably wrong as these have proven to be over the course of the next 10 or 20 years? That is your homework. And as the nation-states are going to fall, isn't that the case that antiquated labels like" unemployed" have to fall on the wayside because the social contract is not a natural law. In the past, we have proven that contrary to the universal law of gravitation, when feudalism has proven to be out-competed by other ways of organizing society, well, feudalism gave way. Except that at the time we employed very convenient but blunt instruments of wars and revolutions in order to give way and create space for the new society to be born. And today, we don't have that luxury. In a world of nuclear weapons and globally connected societies, war and revolutions are simply an avoid unavailable as most of the nations realize except a few.

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Now I want to give you actionable examples of what I mean by the skills that we can all acquire. Because learning these skills cannot require a 10-year academic curriculum. It can be acquired rapidly through experiential learning. Just through the desire of getting started and making simple steps. The examples that you will see are companies where I invested or advised and, if you want, after this conference or even now with your phones, you can go and start acquiring the skills that I'm talking about. For example, Sun Exchange is a South African company that allows you to own cells in a solar plant installed in the sunniest locations on the planet and that solar cell or multiple cells is going to generate for next 10, 20 years, the financial yield that you can then use for whatever you want, for example, to abate your local energy costs. And there will be no more any consultant that can come to you and say: "Oh sorry, you would like to adopt solar but your roof is oriented in the

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wrong direction."

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Or: "Sorry, you live in Norway where it's dark six months out of the year solar energy is unavailable to you." And this is a globally distributed resource that makes energy itself, location independent and you'll receive a monthly payment in Bitcoin, in your digital wallet, streaming African solar energy wherever you are. Or Wealth Migrate that removed the barrier to global commercial grade real estate investment. Something that typically would cost a wealthy family office, one or two million-dollar per year just to manage, now can be achieved at $1,000 or less.

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Or Shivom that is able to have you control your health information as it resides in your DNA and allow you to monetize that without relinquishing control and without handing it over to pharmaceutical companies that can potentially exploit it or to insurance companies.

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Maybe, most significantly, Bitnation, that is designing new digital blockchain-based jurisdictions where these future solutions, through peer to peer markets, disrupt the monopoly that nation-states believe they have over the way that nonviolent conflict is resolved in society.

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So I have been talking about these opportunities for many, many, many years. People come to me and say: "Oh, you love bitcoin. This is so great. But you know, you told me about it a year ago. Now bitcoin is $10. It's too late." Or a year later or two years later or whatever it is now: "Bitcoin is $100: is too late!" Well, one of the opening talks today was talking about the nature of the exponential curve. All of it, practically speaking, is in front of us. It is not too late.

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And that is why, at Network Society, we are designing a suite of mobile apps that are going to actually pay you to, please, start learning. To pay you, to start living a life where you are empowered to explore what are the degrees of evolutionary fitness that you can ascertain that give you the resilience and your family and your community that a complex and chaotic world will not guarantee.

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The difference between dinosaurs and us is that they didn't have telescopes. Let's please use the telescopes of reason and science and technology to further the objectives of enlightenment and this wonderful complex civilization we have built in a manner that must be different from the previous centuries.

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It was easy for those that founded the United States to say we can start over. They had an entire continent to depredate and then to start building upon. Today that privilege is unavailable. We have an entire planet to care for. The new organizations that are going to empower and emancipate communities, giving dignity to the people who form the communities that are the leaders of the 21st century are going to test what is possible at an increasing pace. This acceleration is very natural. Going from idea to action is really just a question of wanting to do it, to gain additional degrees of freedom, additional opportunities and unbounded future ways of building a global civilization. And it is your choice and I hope that you will join me in this exploration. Thank you.

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Conclusion

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Did you like my talk?

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Was it provocative, informative, actionable?

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I hope that at least some of you will be called to action, that you will say "Oh, I have been procrastinating learning about Bitcoin and blockchain or I thought that solar energy or investing in international real estate or learning about personalized health were beyond the things that I could be doing".

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And instead, it's not like that. You can do it with simple steps and start to improve your chances in society. Out of the future of already the things that are happening, in order to be more emancipated, more empowered and to feel that you are part of this future that we are building together.

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And if you do that and if you enjoy The Context episodes and you want me to keep producing them, feel free to send questions or propose new topics that you would like to be covered.

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And of course, on Patreon you can become a supporter of The Context for as little as €5 a month or $5 a month.

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You can support concretely these efforts. It's a symbolic sum that makes you part of a community of fans and followers and enables me, together with my team, to keep decoding the world.

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Language Processing Settings:

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show as nodes: double brackets: categories as mentions:
discourse structure:
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Network Structure Insights
 
mind-viral immunity:
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stucture:
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The higher is the network's structure diversity and the higher is the alpha in the influence propagation score, the higher is its mind-viral immunity — that is, such network will be more resilient and adaptive than a less diverse one.

In case of a discourse network, high mind-viral immunity means that the text proposes multiple points of view and propagates its influence using both highly influential concepts and smaller, secondary topics.
The higher is the diversity, the more distinct communities (topics) there are in this network, the more likely it will be pluralist.
The network structure indicates the level of its diversity. It is based on the modularity measure (>0.4 for medium, >0.65 for high modularity, measured with Louvain (Blondel et al 2008) community detection algorithm) in combination with the measure of influence distribution (the entropy of the top nodes' distribution among the top clusters), as well as the the percentage of nodes in the top community.

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Nodes Av Degree Density Weighed Betweenness
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Narrative Influence Propagation:
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The chart above shows how influence propagates through the network. X-axis: lemma to lemma step (narrative chronology). Y-axis: change of influence.

The more even and rhythmical this propagation is, the stronger is the central idea or agenda (see alpha exponent below ~ 0.5 or less).

The more variability can be seen in the propagation profile, the less is the reliance on the main concepts (agenda), the stronger is the role of secondary topical clusters in the narrative.
propagation dynamics: | alpha exponent: (based on Detrended Fluctuation Analysis of influence) ?   show the chart
We plot the narrative as a time series of influence (using the words' betweenness score). We then apply detrended fluctuation analysis to identify fractality of this time series, plotting the log2 scales (x) to the log2 of accumulated fluctuations (y). If the resulting loglog relation can be approximated on a linear polyfit, there may be a power-law relation in how the influence propagates in this narrative over time (e.g. most of the time non-influential words, occasionally words with a high influence).

Using the alpha exponent of the fit (which is closely related to Hurst exponent)), we can better understand the nature of this relation: uniform (pulsating | alpha <= 0.65), variable (stationary, has long-term correlations | 0.65 < alpha <= 0.85), fractal (adaptive | 0.85 < alpha < 1.15), and complex (non-stationary | alpha >= 1.15).

For maximal diversity, adaptivity, and plurality, the narrative should be close to "fractal" (near-critical state). For fiction, essays, and some forms of poetry — "uniform". Informative texts will often have "variable + stationary" score. The "complex" state is an indicator that the text is always shifting its state.

Degree Distribution:
  calculate & show   ?
(based on kolmogorov-smirnov test) ?   switch to linear
Using this information, you can identify whether the network has scale-free / small-world (long-tail power law distribution) or random (normal, bell-shaped distribution) network properties.

This may be important for understanding the level of resilience and the dynamics of propagation in this network. E.g. scale-free networks with long degree tails are more resilient against random attacks and will propagate information across the whole structure better.
If a power-law is identified, the nodes have preferential attachment (e.g. 20% of nodes tend to get 80% of connections), and the network may be scale-free, which may indicate that it's more resilient and adaptive. Absence of power law may indicate a more equalized distribution of influence.

Kolmogorov-Smirnov test compares the distribution above to the "ideal" power-law ones (^1, ^1.5, ^2) and looks for the best fit. If the value d is below the critical value cr it is a sign that the both distributions are similar.
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Main Topical Groups:

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+     full stats   ?     show categories

The topics are the nodes (words) that tend to co-occur together in the same context (next to each other).

We use a combination of clustering and graph community detection algorithm (Blondel et al based on Louvain) to identify the groups of nodes are more densely connected together than with the rest of the network. They are aligned closer to each other on the graph using the Force Atlas algorithm (Jacomy et al) and are given a distinct color.
Most Influential Elements:
please, add your data to display the stats...
+     Reveal Non-obvious   ?

We use the Jenks elbow cutoff algorithm to select the top prominent nodes that have significantly higher influence than the rest.

Click the Reveal Non-obvious button to remove the most influential words (or the ones you select) from the graph, to see what terms are hiding behind them.

The most influential nodes are either the ones with the highest betweenness centrality — appearing most often on the shortest path between any two randomly chosen nodes (i.e. linking the different distinct communities) — or the ones with the highest degree.
Network Structure:
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The network structure indicates the level of its diversity. It is based on the modularity measure (>0.4 for medium, >0.65 for high modularity, measured with Louvain (Blondel et al 2008) community detection algorithm) in combination with the measure of influence distribution (the entropy of the top nodes' distribution among the top clusters), as well as the the percentage of nodes in the top community.


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Action Advice:
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Structural Gap
(ask a research question that would link these two topics):
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Reveal the Gap   Generate a Question   ?
 
A structural gap shows the two distinct communities (clusters of words) in this graph that are important, but not yet connected. That's where the new potential and innovative ideas may reside.

This measure is based on a combination of the graph's connectivity and community structure, selecting the groups of nodes that would either make the graph more connected if it's too dispersed or that would help maintain diversity if it's too connected.

Latent Topical Brokers
(less visible terms that link important topics):
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These are the latent brokers between the topics: the nodes that have an unusually high rate of influence (betweenness centrality) to their freqency — meaning they may appear not as often as the most influential nodes but they are important narrative shifting points.

These are usually brokers between different clusters / communities of nodes, playing not easily noticed and yet important role in this network, like the "grey cardinals" of sorts.

Emerging Keywords
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Evolution of Topics
(number of occurrences per text segment) ?
The chart shows how the main topics and the most influential keywords evolved over time. X-axis: time period (split into 10% blocks). Y-axis: cumulative number of occurrences.

Drag the slider to see how the narrative evolved over time. Select the checkbox to recalculate the metrics at every step (slower, but more precise).

 
Main Topics
(according to Latent Dirichlet Allocation):
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LDA stands for Latent Dirichlet Allocation — it is a topic modelling algorithm based on calculating the maximum probability of the terms' co-occurrence in a particular text or a corpus.

We provide this data for you to be able to estimate the precision of the default InfraNodus topic modeling method based on text network analysis.
Most Influential Words
(main topics and words according to LDA):
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We provide LDA stats for comparison purposes only. It works with English-language texts at the moment. More languages are coming soon, subscribe @noduslabs to be informed.

Sentiment Analysis


positive: | negative: | neutral:
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We analyze the sentiment of each statement to see whether it's positive, negative, or neutral. You can filter the statements by sentiment (clicking above) and see what kind of topics correlate with every mood.

The approach is based on AFINN and Emoji Sentiment Ranking

 
Use the Bert AI model for English, Dutch, German, French, Spanish and Italian to get more precise results (slower). Standard model is faster, works for English only, is less precise, and is based on a fixed AFINN dictionary.

Keyword Relations Analysis:

please, select the node(s) on the graph see their connections...
+   ⤓ download CSV   ?

Use this feature to compare contextual word co-occurrences for a group of selected nodes in your discourse. Expand the list by clicking the + button to see all the nodes your selected nodes are connected to. The total influence score is based on betweenness centrality measure. The higher is the number, the more important are the connections in the context of the discourse.
Top Relations / Bigrams
(both directions):

⤓ Download   ⤓ Directed Bigrams CSV   ?

The most prominent relations between the nodes that exist in this graph are shown above. We treat the graph as undirected by default as it allows us to better detect general patterns.

As an option, you can also downloaded directed bigrams above, in case the direction of the relations is important (for any application other than language).

Text Statistics:
Word Count Unique Lemmas Characters Lemmas Density
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Text Network Statistics:
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