The Shape of Things to Come

Software may be eating the world, but we are shaping it. What we do now—what we build, how we act, what we tolerate—will profoundly influence how society develops over the next few generations.

That’s not because what happens now will change you or me. We’re unlikely to change much, if at all. We’re set in our ways, most of us.

Our children are not.

What they see online will seem normal to them, just as what we saw growing up seemed normal to us. And because there is no meaningful distinction between online and offline, what they come to accept as normal online will be seen as normal offline.

So the way we build our networks matters in the most profound possible way. If we build networks that make it easy to abuse and harass, and make it difficult to defend against abuse and harassment, our children will come to see that as normal, even desirable. Similarly, if we build networks where it’s hard to abuse and harass, and easy to defend against such attempts, that will become the norm.

System design is social design. The question is, what kind of society do we want to design?

And the more important question is, when are we going to start?

Dive Deeper

If you want to know more about the Pastry Box Project, you can read about the genesis (and goals) of the project.

Swim In The Stream

A stream of all the thoughts published on the Pastry Box Project is available. Keep it open somewhere, and lose yourself in it whenever you feel like it.

Meet Your Host

There are not only pieces of software talking to each other behind this website. There is a human, too. The Pastry Box is brought to you by Alex Duloz.

Stay Tuned

You can follow @thepastrybox on Twitter. For direct inquiries, get in touch with @alexduloz.