Hi, I’m Bernard Darnton. Welcome.

Shifting Tech; Changing World

This site is about how technology builds, undermines, and rebuilds the world we live in.

Technology changes. Institutions don’t. Until they do. This is the phenomenon I’ve called “state tectonics”. When the technology we’ve built our institutions on shifts, the changes can be seismic.

On this site I’ll talk about all the ways that tech is changing how we deal with each other: by force, by trade, and by persuasion. The technologies of warfare, money, and communication are all changing at the same time and that means big changes for us personally and for society.

The question I want to answer here is: how can we survive and prosper in a changing world?

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My Background

I grew up in London and then moved to Dunedin, New Zealand, where I finished high school and did a physics degree.

My professional life has been 20 years in software development, usually in C#, sometimes as a team lead, often around financial systems, most recently for Trade Me, New Zealand’s biggest auction and e-commerce site.

I’ve been a member of Toastmasters for many years. Alongside public speaking, I’ve run training on topics including storytelling, using PowerPoint, and managing anxiety.


These days I live in the suburbs of Christchurch with my wife and two children, four chickens, and uncounted books.

Some Articles To Get Started

What do I mean by “state tectonics”? A Theory of State Tectonics


A longer piece on the same idea.  Magnitude-Nine Politics

Instead of asking how democracy might be failing, let’s first ask: how did it ever succeed? Nobbling the Nobility

How gunpowder ended feudalism and gave us nation states. The Medieval Hiroshima

How warfare changed from the industrial age to the information age. The Laptop Luftwaffe

Politics as we know it is doomed and the democratisation of propaganda is to blame. Many-to-many Propaganda

Learning to Program Bitcoin in C#

As a professional programmer who’s worked with financial systems and someone with an interest in how shifting technology can undermine our institutions, Bitcoin is fascinating.

To learn more, I’ve been working through Jimmy Song’s book, Programming Bitcoin, and doing the exercises in my native programming language, C#. Fair warning: this is technical! BTC#: Learning to Program Bitcoin in C#


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