Geopolitics used to be a board game. Leaders defended and extended their physical territory in the terrestrial plane. Borders were defined by geography. Trade partners and military partnerships tended to fall in the same lines. We knew who our enemies and allies were, and where to find them. But things are no longer so simple. … Continue reading 5G Geopolitics (we’re way past Go!)
Everyone who thinks MMT is a good idea should read Lionel Shriver's The Mandibles. That's the review. (But if you're still here and still want more, I wrote some more thoughts about thinking though permanent solutions for temporary problems on my rather odd book review column here).
In the classic paperclip maximiser thought experiment; an AI is tasked with making paperclips. Innocent enough. However, the AI is also not told when to stop. Driven by the singular goal to make as many paperclips as possible, the AI eventually destroys not only our planet, and our selves, but the entire universe, as it … Continue reading Paperclip minimiser dystopia
I think we need a new vocabulary to distinguish between Universal Basic Income - as form of compulsory (for the tax payer) state-mandated welfare system and - and self-sustaining incentive-driven free-market, voluntary, private sector supported income network systems. I propose OBI: Open Basic Income for these bottom up systems, Open as in Open to all … Continue reading From UBI to OBI – Open Basic Income
I find myself sharing the same essays over and over again, and I thought it would be useful to collect all these perennial favourites into one resource. Enjoy the rabbit hole. On the tyranny of the minority - or why the most unreasonable win: https://medium.com/incerto/the-most-intolerant-wins-the-dictatorship-of-the-small-minority-3f1f83ce4e15O On luxury beliefs: https://nypost.com/2019/08/17/luxury-beliefs-are-the-latest-status-symbol-for-rich-americans/ On why there are (still) no … Continue reading A few of my favourite things
Life is all about choices, and choices are all about trade offs. This little chart I made - which combines the logic of the Nolan Chart and the "political triangle" in a simplified way focused on the core trade-offs of the various political ideas - has helped me to think about some of the biggest … Continue reading The grand trilemma
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