The vast majority of my public written work since 2003 has appeared at WorldChanging.com. Follow this link to perform a site search for all articles under my byline at the site. As of March 31, 2006, when I left WorldChanging, I had written close to 2,000 entries.


Transhuman Space

Transhuman Space is a role-playing game setting comprising 11 books, covering what the world of 2100 looks like on Earth and throughout the solar system, and doing so in as scientifically and conceptually plausible a manner as possible -- there's no faster-than-light travel, telepathy, or humanoid alien life. I wrote two of the books: Broken Dreams, which looks at the developing world and the global politics of intellectual property in 2100, and Toxic Memes, which examines conspiracy theories, political movements, popular culture, and the like in 2100.

Most of the books (including mine) run about 100,000-150,000 words, with only about a quarter of the text focusing on game mechanics. The rest is detailed exploration of what life may be like a century from now, from the minutiae of popular food trends and clothing styles to broader issues of environmental conditions, political struggles, and the extension of human rights beyond what we currently call "human."

I spent a lot of time thinking through the connections between various possible developments (political, social, technological, environmental, etc.) and how they may play out over the century. I was limited in part by not being the author of the original scenario; I was stuck with many concepts and models I didn't necessarily agree with, but had to work with. It was very much like working with on a scenario-planning project with a big client already set in its ways.

Both books connect to my broader work about the future. Broken Dreams posits a world where developmental leapfrogging hasn't worked, and where forces of collaboration and openness get slammed down by incumbent political and economic institutions fearful of their potential. In many ways, Broken Dreams is the world I fear might happen if we fail.

Toxic Memes gives me a chance to play with ideas about how society and technology co-evolve. In it I explore the evolution of reputation management networks, arguments for and against assigning "personhood" to constructed beings, and how life is changed by constant access to communication and information networks far denser and richer than anything we have today. Toxic Memes is, then, a contemplation of the various tools and resources people will have a century from now to shake things up.


New World Columns

From early 1999 through early 2000, I wrote the New World column for PC Review, part of the Johannesburg Mail & Guardian. New World was intended to be an ongoing set of essays about information technology, what it is, why it is, and what sorts of interesting & evil things can be done with it. It was aimed at an intelligent non-technical audience, so don't expect programming tips or esoteric disucssions of whether ATM or gigabit ethernet is better for multicast setups.

The column ended after I fell into a full-time job in 2000. In April of 2002, the Mail & Guardian finally took down the articles from their archives. You can still read them here, though!

Technology & Culture Essays

I also wrote numerous articles for various online and print publications on the intersection of technology and culture... and sometimes about games.