How much do you value yourself? Or, another question, how much do you value your present self compared to your future self? Most of us are based towards the present. We discount the future and over-value the present. This is not entirely unreasonable. Life is finite. We have no guarantees that we will even have … Continue reading Trading personal futures – Discounting or investing in the future?
Are patents still a useful invention to carry forward into the future? Unaffordable price increases in the medical industry (where patent hoarding is a common practice where well-funded firms stock up on pre-emptive patents - i.e. patents for hypothetical future medtech innovations, new drugs, and medical devices) indicate that abuse of patents might be part … Continue reading Have patents outlived their usefulness?
Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood - based, of course (loosely) on the infamous, real-life story of the Manson Family's murder of Sharon Tait and her friends story gives us a glimpse of the dark side of happy hippie culture - and how counter-culture-culture can turn into a cult. Recently, I was asked to co-author … Continue reading On cults, climate and culture
One of the big trends and socio-economic trajectories I'm focused on right now is the concept of how life is becoming untethered from reality. I'm not just talking about virtual / augmented reality and literal virtual escapism; and fake news and deep fakes either (although that's indeed an important part of it), rather I'm talking … Continue reading Nothing is real, everything is possible
The choices we make today, as individuals, as businesses, and as societies ripple out all around us, amplifying over time. What will future generations – our children and our grandchildren (indeed, even our future selves, should we live long enough, as well we could)- make of the choices we are making on their behalf? The … Continue reading The Future Starts Now
As deep fake technologies "improve", they now have the ability to manipulate the past as well as the future. We can no longer be sure that a historical document, photograph or even video footage has not been manipulated to change history (in ways not even Orwell's Big Brother could have imagined). Case in point, here … Continue reading Can we build a shared future without a shared past?
Reflections on the Revolution in France... a book written by a rich Englishman of leisure, critiquing the working-class French Revolution from the other side of the pond... Revealing, (although perhaps more revealing of Burke himself than the author may have intended) as much for what it gets wrong about the French revolution itself (Burke was … Continue reading Reflections on the Revolution in France
"They have a phenomenal memory. If you were to read them a twenty-volume encyclopaedia they could repeat the contents in order, but they never think up anything original. They'd make fine university professors." ~ R.U.R The defining text for robots, Rossum's Universal Robots is a facial science fiction play written in the 1920's as … Continue reading Rossum’s Universal Robots
I don't know about you, but I cannot live without a few secrets. Without secrets, without a private inner life, we lose our individuality and our sense of self. Today though, we are bombarded with messages telling us that privacy is worth sacrificing for the greater good; for the good of community security, for the … Continue reading Secrets and Lies
"...I have developed a very powerful sense of social irresponsibility..." ~ Richard Feynman The inimitable and endlessly quotable Richard Feynman always makes for entertaining - and enlightening - reading. Surely You're Joking Mr Feynman is part physics lecture, part biography and complete delight. A Nobel prize, winner, atom-bomb contributor, and occasional amateur philosopher, Richard Feynman, … Continue reading Surely You’re Joking Mr Feynman