Change is good. Change is bad. Never change. You gotta change. Enduring without change. Times are changing.

We use the word CHANGE a lot. Too much, in fact. Change is one of those things we love or hate and sometimes we love and hate it at the same time. Change feels dizzying, disconcerting, overwhelming, but also exciting, promising, natural. Some people appear to never change. As an adult they look very similar to how they looked in kindergarten, or they wear the same brand of clothing at fifty that they wore at fifteen. Others seem to change too much! They almost appear as slippery like an eel in the water.

Some people believe that nothing ever really changes, that individuals can’t change at all and are doomed to make similar mistakes over and over. Others are champions of change and take on new attributes constantly.

We say that every journey starts with the first step. Similarly every change starts with one idea. A good idea is like a virus and can infect many people. In addition many ideas have multiple points of origin and can therefore spread even faster. The funny things is after an idea spreads, and eventually reaches a tipping point in society, it becomes nearly impossible to imagine life without that change. In hindsight it seems so inevitable, so necessary and natural. How could we have ever NOT seen it this way?!

In the recent past, ideas that seemed at first impossible and a few years later quite natural were gay marriage and the legal use of marihuana. I believe the next ideas of change will be suicide, the right to comfortably end your own life, especially when very ill, and UBI, a Universal Basic Income. I believe that both of these ideas, which at present are nowhere near reaching a tipping point of acceptance, will be adopted within ten years. Perhaps it will take a little longer for UBI, but it will happen no later than fifteen years from now, that is before 2035. Twenty years from now no one will understand why it took us so long to accept these two ideas and create the changes to implement them.

I could be wrong, but those are my two long bets. What are yours?


Brian Eno in an interview with Apartamento Magazin in April.

They took a small city in Canada. I think it was about 4,000 people. And for two or three years they were on a universal basic income. They could still have jobs if they wanted to, but they were provided with enough money to keep them alive. Three results kept coming up. One was a dramatic increase in community engagement; people started getting together to do things, like fix up that little park that was a mess, or stop cars going down those streets, little things like that where people started caring about their shared experience. That to me is absolutely the most important thing. The second thing is that the prescription of psychoactive drugs, tranquilisers and so on, went down. People were reporting much less mental anxiety, psychosis, and loneliness. And the third thing is that educational achievement improved. The last one is a bit mysterious. It’s thought it’s because the parents were more at home and helped kids with homework. There haven’t been many UBI experiments, but those three results keep coming up. I agree, it’s not without problems. The question is whether it’s better than what we’re doing now. And to that I can answer with absolute certainty: yes.

Link to a recent BBC article about the Canadian experiment