Terry Davis Was Right


Key takeaways


  • Since the beginning, every complex society has been based on a shared socio-cognitive operating system, a religion. Your religion says you must live a certain way. It tells you what is valuable and what is disgusting. It gives you your fundamental paradigm and ontology of belief through which you interpret the world. It tells you to read certain texts, listen to certain traditions of wise men, and meet with like-minded others at certain places and times. It tells you to avoid certain influences, and seek out others. It gives you techniques for structuring thought and mind and memory. When you have doubts, it gives you procedures to ask for and receive insight. It tells you who you are, and what your life is for.
  • That is, religion structures your information environment and cognition on a very practical level. But it also structures your interactions with others. It provides a system of law, shared ethics, a shared mythic vocabulary, and language. It provides your notions of friendship, your ways of doing business, and your ways of forming a family or not. It keeps you and your co-religionists operating on the same frequency, able to understand, trust, and work with each other. That is, your religion is the fundamental information fabric, the soul, of your society.
  • Where you sacrifice reveals your true religion.
  • Our information environment and space of action overall is increasingly owned and curated by an expert elite for political and commercial effect, with enough gated access to productivity, society, and bureaucracy to keep us dependent and unable to unplug. In concrete terms, most of what it does is deliver a steady stream of pornography, entertaining memes, political slogans, and commercial advertisements. There is no health in it, nor in us who worship at its altar.
  • The metaverse tendency outcompetes current alternatives but strips human agency out of the system. Without agency over the world in which we live, people cannot develop the forward-looking spirit that is necessary for growth and life.
  • If we are going to survive the century, biologically or socially, we’re going to need a new computing system that is the opposite of the metaverse. The central problem for such a system is how to empower the user as much as possible.
  • The opposite of the managed app experience, and thus the basis for a true temple OS, is general-purpose computing: the user is given a composable and programmable system of tools instead of limited non-composable appliances.