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.
Postalgia is a term used by science fiction writer William Gibson to explain the future fatigue plaguing contemporary culture. Postalgia is a hankering after the present; as opposed to nostalgia, which is a hankering after the past. Postalgia is the sense that things right now are as good as they will ever get. It is … Continue reading Postalgia / Prostalgia – Is this as Good as it Gets?
"The effective leader understands that politics is as much about image as it is substance and acts accordingly." With all the Machiavellian power-grabbing going on by governments around the world at the moment in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, it seems like as good a time as ever to review the old bible of … Continue reading The Prince
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?