Zero Credibility is a weekly column of essays by Slava Akhmechet on engineering the future.

I picked this name for three reasons. First, every inventor has done their best work when no one knew or cared about what they do. There seems to be magic in having zero credibility, so this name is a reminder to stay hungry and foolish. Second, Zero Credibility is a spaceship in Ian Bank’s Culture Series. It’s one of my favorite science fiction worlds, and these essays are about getting from here to there. Third, everyone tries to inflate their own credibility, which drives me nuts. Being a contrarian, I thought it would be fitting to do the exact opposite.

This decade has few good historical analogies to draw on. Our technological advances expose the limitations of liberal democracies like never before. We are in an uncharted territory. Every week I will write an essay to work through a question that’s important to me, with the aim of charting a path forward. My goal is to build a community of like-minded thinkers and builders, and collectively make a dent in humanity’s future.

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If you care about these issues, I would appreciate your support of my work. With a paid subscription you will get access to all my new essays, member-only discussions, and a full essay archive. This allows me to stay independent, and share my knowledge and experience without pressure from any individual employer or the technology industry as a whole.

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Weekly essays on engineering the future


Slava Akhmechet

Ex-product/eng at Stripe. Founded RethinkDB. Computational neuroscience PhD dropout. Care about building the future.