We just witnessed the first truly digital bank run (SVB), and it’s no exaggeration to say that we are now in the midst of the first digital war. We think we understand digital because we’ve been to so many talks on “The Digital Future” that our eyes roll when the subject comes up. And yet, the requirements and consequences of a digital world still surprise us.

Some will say we’ve had digital for a long time. It’s not new. That’s true. It’s the assemblage of technologies at a speed that’s new. Consider China’s ability to autonomously 3D-print a dam that’s on par with The Hoover Dam. Remote keystrokes can trigger an army of autonomous robotics to create massive structures incredibly quickly. Only a few days ago KENYO Precision Machine Manufacturing built a two-story building in Luhe in just 50 hours. China’s new autonomous Super-Dregder will create new islands in the Pacific in weeks. Keystrokes, code, and encryption combined with 3D printing now mean that a nation can create everything it needs in peace or wartime at speeds the West can’t match. That includes guns, ammo, bombs, rockets, aerial, land-roving and sub-sea drones, hospitals, livestock farms, bioprinted human organs, bones and prosthetics. We need to ask the question that Manuel De Landa asked in the extraordinary book he published in 1991, War in the Age of Intelligent Machines. What is the defining military technology of our time?

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