Why Nations Fail

Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty, is a very big book that uses rather a lot of pages to outline a very basic idea: Bad Suff Happens to Countries Which Are a) Run Badly b) by Bad People. That's it. (Also, if you don't know much about global political and economic … Continue reading Why Nations Fail

Atomised

Michel Houellebecq is clearly a polymath. In Atomised (a science fiction novel very cleverly disguised as serious prize-winning literary fiction) he demonstrates his wide ranging knowledge and deep understanding of subjects ranging from philosophy to physics, and from biology to psychology, to brilliant effect. The book reveals the author's uniquely considered philosophy of history. He illustrates through his … Continue reading Atomised

Illustration by Alexis Emma

The Problem With Big Gov’s War on Big Tech

Big Government has declared war on Big Tech. The EU copyright directive wants to "control" the internet. The EU has fined Google billions for (essentially) being too big and successful. The UK wants a tech-tax. US Senator Elisabeth Warren wants to dismantle big-tech monopolies. The Californian Governor wants big tech to pay people a data … Continue reading The Problem With Big Gov’s War on Big Tech

Marshall McLuhan

Eat Your Greens

Alas. I do not have a lovely little image of this lovely little book. I live in South Africa and (due to a severe lack of foresight on the part of our esteemed leaders and holders of the public purse strings) we are in the midst of yet another cycle of what South Africans call … Continue reading Eat Your Greens

death of the gods carl miller bronwyn williams futurist futurenomics

Death of the Gods

"Our opinions and beliefs, what we hold to be true and what we think is right and wrong have all become strategic objectives... Each of us has been brought - face-to-face - to a new front line." The (very readable) Death of the Gods by Carl Miller is a whirlwind overview of the biggest Big … Continue reading Death of the Gods

envy a theory of social behaviour

Envy – A Theory of Social Behaviour

"Social justice means that we deny ourselves many things so that others may have to do without them as well, or what is the same thing, many not be able to ask for them." ~ Sigmund Freud (emphasis my own) Helmut Schoeck's theory of social behaviour focuses on Envy as the key driving force behind … Continue reading Envy – A Theory of Social Behaviour

Photo credit: Trophy Wife Barbie

Are you a real girl?

As a mother of a Generation Alpha girl-child, I'm still not sure we're sending our daughters the right message about gender identity. In the 20th century (aka Boomer Era), gender dogma logic went something like this: If you are a girl, then you must like pink and play with Barbie. Just a bit sexist. Today, … Continue reading Are you a real girl?

ai love

Never trust a machine to do a human’s job.

Many tasks could (and should) be automated to free humanity of drudgery and accelerate our prosperity. However, some things are still really best left to flesh and blood people. Love letters, for example. These neural network-generated candy-heart slogans are a wonderfully bad reminder of the value of human empathy and EQ - even in todays … Continue reading Never trust a machine to do a human’s job.

Robot Rights

Can robots have rights? Should robots have rights? These deceptively big questions regarding "roborights" are shaping up to be among the Big Issues debated by law makers, scientists, engineers, and philosophers in 2019 - and far into the future. I read David J. Gunkel's Robot Rights to get a handle on where academia is "at" … Continue reading Robot Rights