As above, so below

I've been thinking lately about codes. Not cryptography, but rather the codes by which we govern our lives. At the societal level, the two critical poles come down to trust or control (or liberty or authority). At the individual level, this becomes a choice to be governed by duty or by authority. Similar to how … Continue reading As above, so below

Spin and doctors

The new field of “behavioural linguistics” is very similar to the more well known behavioural economics; in that they are both are part of the same discipline of persuasion, essentially looking at behavioural science principles and how you can apply various ‘behavioural nudges’ to help guide people in specific directions towards particular goals and outcomes; … Continue reading Spin and doctors

Real Scarcity

There is lots to celebrate about creating abundance out of scarcity. Creating scarcity out of abundance, however, is not a fantastic look for any society. And yet here we are - trying to do just that - to create legal monopolies out of thin air. Patents, copyrights, and now, NFTs all fall into this bastard … Continue reading Real Scarcity

The fine print

Perhaps the biggest policy skeleton key of them all has to be single-payer, free-at-the-point-of-purchase (that is, paid for by strangers) national health insurance / social security. This is, let us be frank, a new experiment. The first test subjects are still alive, and the future sustainability of these nice entitlements is far from guaranteed. What … Continue reading The fine print

2021 a Year in Books

What I read in 2021, the comprehensive list. How to read this list: *  = Recommend** = Really recommendNC = No comment (or, really, do not bother)RR = Re-readF = FictionNF = Non-fictionP = Plays No, I won't be posting purchase links, I suggest you purchase a copy of whatever sounds interesting from your favourite local second … Continue reading 2021 a Year in Books

The Future – Governments’ Edition

A very short summary of the base-case near-term global future scenario at this point in time: Don't like it? Nothing is set in stone. Remember you cannot comply your way out of (even the banal, bureaucratic sort of) tyranny and do something about it. Don't understand it? Contact me and I'll talk you through the … Continue reading The Future – Governments’ Edition

The Future Starts Now

Yes, this is technically my own book - but I only wrote one of the 20 essays, so I am really more of a reader than a writer here too. Agency is a tricky thing. The less we use it, the more we lose it. The more we give up and outsource our responsibilities, the … Continue reading The Future Starts Now

Cultural Amnesia

"But in Rome, the consuls, the Senate, the knights, rushed headlong into servitude" ~ Tacitus What an utterly extraordinary book. There are not many people who made me feel badly read - Clive James is one of them. Clive James's Cultural Amnesia is an incredible, rich, well researched provocative book. It is a collection of … Continue reading Cultural Amnesia

The truth machine

If you can take a collection of junk bonds and securitise them into A-grade "investment" assets (hello collateralised debt obligations); or if you can do the same thing with bundling shitcoins and DIY NFTs into "no risk" lending opportunities - if you can take trash and by simply combining it with more trash magically transform … Continue reading The truth machine