No thing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.

These days, I have been reading a book that is affecting my day-to-day; this book is about finite games and infinite games, but putting a name to it is pretty much meaningless.

The book is much about how we can interact as a society to boost everyone’s potential.

Idealistic? Yes, although as I read it, I laughed through the texts during my commute to work. Not humorous laughter, but sincere uncomfortable laughter. Like when someone tells you the uncomfortable truth, and you know it’s true in the end, that kind of book it is.

Reading nowadays this makes me realize how few the society has changed during the past 40 years in terms of self-understanding.

Everything is about titles, competitions, now even more than before, and finite games as such that as it is for everyone now, it’s worth close to zero the leverage that can give you to be an infinite player.

There’s no point in not competing in your day-to-day basis since the system will kick you out (sooner or later).

Even researchers are leaving for big tech. However, this is not new, and I won’t go into this topic since it’s heated.

There’s no other point in history where knowing things could give you exactly as much as not knowing it, and I’m not talking about money but actual knowledge.

Not for lack of information, but on the contrary, people tend to choose not to learn because they have information exhaustion. Everyone is already so focused on their own personal finite game that has the same starting point as everyone else.

Lack of time is killing people’s ability to be creative, and those who want to be creative are aimed to suffer the pains of being outsiders.

A few years ago, almost like 12 years ago now, on the Internet, people were amused when someone shared the secret sauce on how to build a complex piece of software. Not because it wasn’t available in the first place, but because it felt completely robotic or uncool since no one was “writing an easy way” to do it (GNU was open, open source was flourishing, etc.). It was not common to find good content without getting you into the roots of algebra, calculus, rooting for you to learn first how to read assembly before going into C; if you weren’t part of academia, or any group of knowledge, you were pretty much in the shadows trying to feel the walls around you.

It wasn’t impossible. It just was hard enough.

Nowadays, impressively enough, it takes you two searches to start understanding how a nuclear reactor works…

I remember back in the days when I wanted to understand more about compilers, everyone recommended The Dragon Book. Yeah, sure (myself of 15 years old disagreed with that). It seemed like everyone wanted to be a gatekeeper of knowledge back then. If you were there, you needed to know how to ask the question, how to be the person they expected you to be. A secret handshake of sorts to gain entry into the halls of knowledge.

However, such gatekeeping is human. In antiquity, the Babylonian scribes (Eduba) guarded scholarly knowledge as a means of maintaining power and prestige.

It’s this gatekeeping that ended up being commodified, a business model - something that allows organizations like the one I just cited above, JSTOR, to be alive to this day.

Thanks to Aaron Swartz and many more fighters that choose to play the infinite game, we can now rely on other mediums of information that do not charge 50 USD per article fees to access human knowledge.

Information around was almost sacred for non-academic people or people like me in the south of the world during the early (or not so early) years of modern Internet.

Maybe during the witch hunts or even during the attack of Caesar on the Library of Alexandria, people visualized these attacks with the same eyes as we are doing it right now to our own society, knowing it’s bad, trusting it’s bad and letting all the bad happen because, of course: how much can you do?

Now, let’s imagine for a second: What would happen if another Alexandria occurs now?

Maybe Babylon had a real tower, but we will never know, and even if we know, nobody will ever know the difference.

Society, if it keeps learning no matter what, will end up being so self-aware that essentially nothing will be worth it to be learned anymore.

Now we have perpetrators of information called Models, that are just a reflection of a society that’s focused on the outcomes, not the process and not even quality. Just spit the code. Spit the text I want.

Trust that I’ll trust you, machine.

Who will be writing now in the future? Who will be playing for the machines? Will people label stuff if they are aware that they are feeding the machine that will eat them later?

We talk about games all the time, although the rules are already set, and we cannot change those.

I’m personally all the way towards technology; however, we need a set of guardrails not for the technology itself, but for us to understand where the boundaries are and where humans need to use these tools to explode their capacity and not the other way around.

Regulations won’t work.

Limiting these tools won’t as well (since it’s like limiting a computer from calculating two variables).

Opposition to it will end up in hunger, war, and broken societies.

We need a new way to understand how states can be built from scratch using knowledge as a source of truth and these tools as a thesaurus of human information.

However, in the moment where money and marketing hit the beehive, we will need to run since bad things will happen.

After all of this, where is the infinite game now?