It has been rather depressing to watch people get exactly what they want. In South Africa in March, people begged to "be lead" through the COVID crisis - and they were. Crop-bottom pant regulations, arbitrary prohibition and all. They are now number three on the global misery index. In the UK, people demanded schools were shut down - … Continue reading Be careful what you beg for
Good money chases bad out of circulation. That's Gresham's Law. But what happens when the good money and the bad money are controlled by different groups? One private and backed by sweat; the other public and backed by blood (or the threat thereof). This is not a stable equilibrium. Taxation (or wealth redistribution) is the … Continue reading BTC in the sheets, MMT in the streets?
Minecraft users have been building a 1:1 replica of Earth to preserve a record of our planet and our current civilisation in event of its destruction (and goodness knows there are enough options for total world-ending destruction available these days) for some time now. As a sub-plot to that grand plan, Reporters Without Borders is … Continue reading The Uncensored New Library of Alexandra
"Bureaucracy is a a construction by which a person is conveniently separated from the consequences of his or her actions." What a poetic quote. Nassim Taleb is a polarising figure; yet there is no doubt that he is on top form in Skin In The Game. Less academic and mathematical heavy than some of his … Continue reading Skin in the Game
The Cryptonomicon (also sometimes referred to as the Old Testament of the contemporary crypto community, I title it competes for with The Sovereign Individual) was apparently "required reading" for Elon Musk and Peter Thiel's team members in the early days of PayPal. After reading the book myself, this is an urban legend I am inclined … Continue reading The Cryptonomicon
Money gets surreal when it becomes untethered from reality; and a lot of strange financial wizardry began decoupling real value and nominal financial money in and around the 1970's. The website wfthappendin1978.com tells the story in pictures, in a series of economic charts that illustrate better than a thousand essays would, what happens when the rules … Continue reading WTF Happened in the 1970s?
“Only a crisis — actual or perceived — produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around.” ~ Milton Friedman Right now, Modern Monetary Theory (aka Magic Money Theory, aka MMT aka a new branding for monetary stimulus) as popularised by Stephanie Kelton’s The … Continue reading The Deficit Myth (and the Free Lunch Fantasy) of MMT
"The winner takes it all" ~ ABBA The quote above really sums up the near-term effects of the combined COVID-19 and social crises on the 2020s ahead. I was recently asked to submit a chapter to Aftershocks and Opportunities, and I wrote on exactly that; how crises highlight and amplify the deep-seated cracks and devastating … Continue reading The Winner Takes it All
From my perspective, all the many trends that I track are linked in one way or a another to four overarching, civilisation-level, end-game "meta trends". Of course, all four of these meta trends are themselves interlinked and interactive, and can be envisaged as four oscillating cyclical waves that pull together, pull apart and underwrite the … Continue reading Meta Trends and Far Future Visions
If you are a futurist, you should be watching the sex industry. The world's oldest industry is full of shiny new ideas and quick to adopt new trends and technologies. It's also very flexible. (Puns all fully intended). I wrote in more detail about this subject here. Enjoy.