Over the last few weeks I’ve been obsessively binge-watching the sci-fi TV series The Expanse.
The year is 2350. The solar system has been settled and is divided into warring factions.
Earth is still the greatest economic power, its industries unrivaled. But Earth’s society has grown stagnant, losing its sense of ambition and vitality over the centuries.
Mars is a young, idealistic society determined to terraform their planet and create a “New Earth.” They are united in their disdain for the Earthers, and how they’ve wasted the abundance of their home planet.
And there is an emerging power: the scattered mining settlements in the Asteroid Belt, known as “The Belt.” The “Belters” have developed their own language, culture, and even physiology.
Raised their entire lives in low gravity environments, they cannot withstand the crushing gravity of Mars or Earth. The Belters are permanently exiled from the very places where humans first evolved.
The Belters have always been at the mercy of their planetary neighbors. But that is starting to change. Ships are pushing deeper and deeper into the outer solar system and even beyond.
The demand for raw materials is skyrocketing, which is shifting the balance of power.
Anything is possible.
I don’t want to give anything away, but here’s a quick 90-second trailer for season 1 to give you a feel for the universe of The Expanse (WARNING: graphic language and content):
As I’ve been watching the series, something has resonated deeply with me. A few nights ago as I finished season 2, it hit me: the economics and politics of the 24th century are already with us today.
The stagnant Earth represents the old 20th century economy that is rapidly decaying in our own time. Bureaucratic government institutions are failing us. The media is stuck in the Industrial Age. Outdated industries are struggling to keep up with the pace of change.
The Belt represents the new economy that is emerging before our eyes. An economy driven by technology, the Internet, and creativity.
The Belters have always lived in the shadow of Earth and its armada. They’ve always been treated as second class citizens. Their desires and dreams dismissed by the powers that be.
But Belters represent the future. They control the basic resources that will be needed to explore the outer solar system. They are pioneering a new way of life free of the gravitational constraints of the past.
Belters are the gateway to humanity’s future in the stars.
Likewise, the new, Internet-enabled economy is still in its infancy. Many of the technological tools we’ve invented are still quite primitive, requiring some effort to master.
But make no mistake: technology will change everything. No industry will survive unscathed and no part of our lives will be untouched.
Just like the Belters, we are also miners, but of raw information. As creative knowledge workers, we drill down to the source to make sense of what’s happening in the world on our own terms. And we are also developing our own language, our own culture, and our own approach to productivity, learning, collaboration, business, and life itself.
Just like the Belters, we are living at the frontier. We are inventing a new way of life – how to leverage technology and the Internet to enhance our thinking, leverage our creativity, and ultimately, to live more fulfilling, vibrant lives.
Join the Belters
Today we are officially announcing cohort 12 of Building a Second Brain (BASB), my flagship online course on how to save your best ideas, organize your knowledge, and use it to dramatically expand your creative output.
On the surface, the course is about organizing your digital life and improving your productivity as a creative professional. But it’s so much more than that.
It is really about what it means to be a native citizen of the Internet. It is about how to unleash the full power of the digital tools at your fingertips. It is about learning to use technology to capitalize on the full potential of your ideas.
And by doing so, taking control of your destiny.
On April 19th we will open enrollment for the new cohort, which will run from May 5 to June 4, 2021. I’ve dubbed them “The Belters” to remind us that we are the underdogs…for now.
Over 5 weeks I will teach you the fundamentals of CODE, the method I’ve developed for consistently turning the information you consume into creative output. And as a side effect, drastically reducing the constant anxiety that there’s some little detail falling through the cracks.
Right now is the best time to equip yourself with a system for knowledge management, which I call a “Second Brain.” Because let me tell you: the volume of information coming your way today is just a trickle compared to what’s coming.