Unity with maximum self-determination sends a powerful message to a world torn by identity conflicts. That it is possible to respect our differences while living and working together. This is the great challenge of our time.

—    Bill Clinton

Frictionless Credit Cards

It’s worth listening to the a16z podcast to understand what I mean when I say the virtualisation of credit cards, but one point worth advancing is that it could dramatically increase the speed with which we can access credit.

With Apple Pay all your cards are stored on your phone. To load them on you either enter the digits manually or snap a picture with the phones camera. Presumably, you then put your card in a drawer, much like you did with with a CD after you’d ripped it to your hard drive.

Now imagine there is no card. You’re approved online and the card is loaded onto your phone over the air. We enter a world when getting access to a new credit card could be as easy as applying on an app in store, and having it land on your phone before you’ve managed to finish browsing. It’s Wonga without the crazy APRs.

Frictionless yes, and for many it will be a great time saver. No more physical post, picking up cards from the branch etc. But for those who aren’t the best with money it could have new cards very literally at their finger tips.

Think card comparison, approval and delivery, all in real time.

Big Money By Ken Vogel

I have an active interest in US elections and particularly the amount of money that is now being spent in them thanks to the Citizens United ruling.

If you’re looking for a book that unveils the sheers scale of money being poured now into US politics there are few better books to read than Ken Vogels’ Big Money. Indeed, it’s only by following the money that you understand what motivates US political candidates, which makes it not just a book about elections, but one about the machinations of the entire political landscape.

I particularly enjoyed learning about the ‘Kochtopus’ as Vogel refers to it. The sprawling politic network funded by the Kock Brothers and their allies. I asked Vogel if he thought they could be the precursor to new parties forming on the right. What I didn’t expect was us to end up having a phone call about it! Not only a good writer, but clearly a nice guy too.


The Rise and Fall and Rise of Virtual Reality

The Verge is currently running an awesome set of features on VR that is a must read.

The articles have helped convince me that virtual reality is one of the next big technological shifts we’ll see. That gaming is only the ‘gateway drug’ for a new set of protocols that will impact all aspects of our lives.

Heady stuff maybe? Read on see if you don’t come out feeling the same way.