Connected: Issue #1

A brief overview of the project

Two months ago, while filling out my application for the Emergent Ventures fellowship, I was forced to answer the following question: “How would you describe your idea in a tweet?”

I found that condensing my interests into a tweet was a non-trivial exercise. Fortunately, I remembered the following tweet from Steve. This resonated deeply with me and seemed appropriate as a backdrop for many ideas I wanted to explore.

As described in the introductory post, Connected will be an open ended exploration of this question. To be clear, this is a rhetorical question and I’m not looking for answers. I’m looking for interesting vectors that emanate from this question, ones that will allow me to engage in purposeful meandering.

The formation and existence of very large tribes is a recent phenomenon, one that has profound implications for our future.

Throughout our evolution from primates to modern humans, tribe sizes have stayed constant: from 50 to 2500 depending on the function of the group. Various reasons not limited to geography, diet, brain size, and inability to coordinate have played a part although there is little consensus on why this is the case.[1]

For the first time in our brief history we are now connected, both in physical and digital environments, as members of tribes larger than our biology has evolved to keep up with. Many seemingly unrelated ideas appear to me as related to this fundamental shift in connectedness. Two other major paradigm shifts that have influenced my thinking and interest in this question are: transition to market economies [2] and the invention of a new soft technology, i.e. software.[3]


  1. Epiphenomena and Beware the Big Errors of Big Data by Nassim Taleb

  2. Markets Are Eating The World by Taylor Pearson

  3. Breaking Smart by Venkatesh Rao

I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got something to share! You can do so by replying to this email or reaching out to me on Twitter @Rahul_Ramc.