The True Believer

The true believer

Eric Hoffer was an American dock worker. An everyman. Not a rich man, not a man you would have noticed in the streets in the 1930s and 1940s. One of the nameless, voiceless masses we live and work with every day. But he was more than that. He was also a keen observer of human … Continue reading The true believer

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

A Century of Retro-Futurism Reviewed

I love retro-futurism - who doesn't? Here's a random selection of some of my favourite past predictions of the future over the 20th century ... and what we got instead.   We were promised space holidays: We're almost there with Virgin Galactic:   We were promised zip-line zeppelins: We got passenger drones (only for the … Continue reading A Century of Retro-Futurism Reviewed

New Gods for a New Age – Losing Our Religion and Finding it Again in (Unlikely) Places

“Belief sloshes around in the firmament like lumps of clay spiralling into a potter's wheel. That's how gods get created, for example. They clearly must be created by their own believers, because a brief resume of the lives of most gods suggests that their origins certainly couldn't be divine. They tend to do exactly the … Continue reading New Gods for a New Age – Losing Our Religion and Finding it Again in (Unlikely) Places

Dystopia Now? – The Future of Digital Dictatorships and Totalitarian Technocracies

There is no doubt in my mind that we will all shortly by ruled by machines. I am not talking about robo-cops and terminators (just yet), but rather about technology-powered governments with increasing, omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience over their subjects. Surveillance? - Check The cellphones in our pockets, the social media platforms that record and store … Continue reading Dystopia Now? – The Future of Digital Dictatorships and Totalitarian Technocracies

The Ascent of Money

The monstrously complicated monetary system we have today is responsible for the greatest leaps and bounds of human prosperity, and for the most depressing of depressions suffered by civilisation to date. Want to understand how it works? The Ascent of Money is a good place to start.

More Lies (A Field Guide to Lies and Statistics)

In a world where this is possible: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmUC4m6w1wo  Seeing is not believing. We can no longer trust our own eyes. Photographic evidence, of course, has been questionable since the distant days of the Cottingley Fairies scam which fooled countless Victorians over 100 years ago. Now, not even authentic video "evidence" can be trusted (as is so … Continue reading More Lies (A Field Guide to Lies and Statistics)

Art & Artifice

This strange little book is a story of magic and mystery. The author, Jim Steinmeyer is a designer of magic, who has designed illusions for the likes of David Copperfield. In Art & Artifice, Jim Steinmeyer goes back in time to pull back the curtain on some of the most perplexing magic tricks of the … Continue reading Art & Artifice

Our disappearing, digitised civilisation

"I still have 100s of computer programs I wrote for ZX Spectrum from 1983-85 that are on magnetic cassette tapes melting again in my attic, inc my 'chatbot,' and other programs from 1985-87 stored on an 8" magnetic reel. All less readable already than Egyptian hieroglyphics." I D Pearson There are now around 1.8 billion photographs taken … Continue reading Our disappearing, digitised civilisation