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

Citizenship as a Service – Rethinking the Nation State Beyond Physical Borders

The following videos, representing a wide variety of views on the subject, are worth a few minutes of your time if you want to get to grips with the idea of electronic citizenship and the future of the digital nation state - beyond physical borders - for better or for worse. The state's perspective: The … Continue reading Citizenship as a Service – Rethinking the Nation State Beyond Physical Borders

Nudge

Nudge is a book about "Libertarian Paternalism" - in other words about manipulating people into making better choices that are in their best interests (according to some centralised authority anyway). Tautology aside, the book is a decent take on the more practical (or evil, depending on your point of view) applications of behavioural economics. The … Continue reading Nudge

Ficciones

Ficciones is a collection of some of Jorge Louis Borges most compelling, philosophical (fictional) fantasies. The mind-expanding Library of Babble and the Garden of Forking Paths are among the outstanding short stories contained in the book. Borges's gift is to take complex concepts about subjects as obtuse as quantum physics, multiple futures, time travel, and … Continue reading Ficciones

The Order of Time

Things are transformed one into another according to necessity, and render justice to one another according to the order of time. ~ Anaximander The Order of Time is a mind-expanding little book. Part physics, part philosophy, the book is packed with strange and wonderful ideas about how the very fabric of the universe works and … Continue reading The Order of Time

A Slip of The Keyboard

It's no secret, Terry Pratchett is my all-time favourite author, and has been since I was an 11-year-old girl-child, told by my English teacher to "go read this book [Lords and Ladies] at the back of the classroom. You're too smart for what I'm about to teach the rest of them." (true story). Although dismissed … Continue reading A Slip of The Keyboard

Thinking Fast and Slow

"Appraising the book by the peak-end rule, I overconfidently urge everyone to buy and read it." ~ Jim Holt, New York Times I concur with the quote. Daniel Kahneman's seminal work on behavioral economics and decision making, Thinking Fast and Slow, is one of the world's least-read best sellers. This puts the book in good company, also on the … Continue reading Thinking Fast and Slow

Robot rights - robot responsibilities

With robot rights, come robot responsibilities

Person or Property? - That is the Question... “From a legal perspective, this is a complicated area, as the algorithms of an AI act as a “black box” — even the creator of the artificial intelligence is not always sure why the algorithm made a certain decision," ~ Marten Kaevats, Adviser of the Strategy Unit of the Government … Continue reading With robot rights, come robot responsibilities

The future of our shared myths

In many ways, common myths are the glue that hold human society together. This does not make these myths "true". It just makes them true enough for a large enough majority to believe in. When people believe in something, really truly believe in it, they will do almost anything to defend that belief, often to the … Continue reading The future of our shared myths

Of Machines and Men

Cyborgs already walk amongst us. Actually, this is nothing new. For decades already we have been able to upgrade our frail human bodies with a pacemaker to keep our hearts pumping, hearing aid implants to help us regain our sense of sound, and metal plates and screws to hold us together when our hips and … Continue reading Of Machines and Men