the sovereign individual

The Sovereign Individual

"Government is not only a protection service; it is also a protection racket. While government provides protection against violence originating with others, like the protection racket it also charges customers for protection against harm that it would otherwise impose itself. The first action is an economic service. The second is a racket.In practice, the distinction … Continue reading The Sovereign Individual

reading right now

2020 A Year in Books

What I read in 2020, the comprehensive list. How to read this list: *  = Recommend** = Really recommendNC = No comment (or, really, do not bother)RR = Re-readF = FictionNF = Non-fiction If you trust my reading recommendations, I suggest you purchase a copy of whatever catches your eye at your favourite local second hand book … Continue reading 2020 A Year in Books

economics in one lesson

Economics in One Lesson

“The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups” The premise of Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson is simple: Policy should be honest about the losers, … Continue reading Economics in One Lesson

Narrative Economics

Narrative Economics

Narrative Economics by Robert J Shiller has been on my to-read list for a while (I was waiting for the paperback edition to launch in South Africa. The book looks at the thesis that narrative a way of presenting or understanding a situation or series of events that reflects and promotes a particular point of … Continue reading Narrative Economics

The Red Queen

The Red Queen

The Red Queen is a long, hard look at human nature. It reminds us that in spite of our skyscrapers and space rockets, we humans are still, deep down, naked apes with animal instincts and desires. The most base desire we (as a species and as individuals) have is for immortality - genetic immortality, creative … Continue reading The Red Queen

this is not propaganda

This is not Propaganda

  “Faced with wildly conflicting versions of reality, people selected the one that suited them.” Peter Pomerantsev's This is Not Propaganda is a book about our times for our times. It addresses the central catch-22 of our information age; namely whether central censorship (with the risk of top down propaganda) or decentralised free range information … Continue reading This is not Propaganda

The Future is History

The Future is History

"We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us." - A Soviet joke The Future is History by Masha Gessen is in someways the flip-side of Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism. While The Origins of Totalitarianism explains exactly that, how societies lose themselves to totalitarian ideology, The Future is History deals with the … Continue reading The Future is History

small gods

Small Gods

"Eppur si muove" And yet it moves. Terry Pratchett's Small Gods is a sage tale for times when nothing is real, anything is possible, the rules are made up, and the points don't matter. In times where reality itself is under attack and science denialism is reaching pre-Renaissance levels of surreality; it is good to … Continue reading Small Gods

Train Naked

Train Naked

Friends with benefits are nice, friends with books are even better. I am privileged to know Pierre Du Plessis, the (extraordinarily wise) author of Train Naked personally. The book is written as a series of daily meditations and reflections - almost like miniature sermons that if followed will make your life richer and more rewarding. … Continue reading Train Naked