Shirley Jackson's collection of dystopian short-form fiction The Lottery (and other stories) is a stark reminder of the fragility, banality and horror of the un-scrutinised human condition. It's all too easy to slip into group-think that priorities the "greater good" over the individual life. And once we have accepted that, it is a slippery slope to treating people … Continue reading The Lottery
Facial Justice by LP Hartley is not a good book. In fact, I would say it is a pretty terrible book. Bad plot, bad characters, badly written. Yet, I am still featuring it here because the book's big idea is brilliant. Facial Justice imagines a not too distant future where women are forced to have … Continue reading Facial Justice
Banks, central banks, reserve banks - and Bitcoin. They all exist because human beings - individuals like you and me - cannot be trusted. (And because we are greedy, envious and have no self control or patience.) Money is not so much the root of all evil, as evil is the root of all money. … Continue reading Evil is the Root of all Money
"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
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.
An old one, but a good one nonetheless. Economics made easy, with cows. SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The State takes one and gives it to your neighbour. COMMUNISM: You have two cows. The State takes both and gives you and your neighbour some of the milk. FASCISM: You have two cows. The State takes … Continue reading Ecownomics
The UK has taken a lot of ridicule for Brexit. Sure, Brexit is still going to cause a lot of trouble, and a lot of expense to a lot of people. However, although I am not sure Brexit is a good idea now (the damage has already been done), the truth of the matter is, … Continue reading Big governments are bad – it’s just good maths
This may not be a popular post, but try to follow my logic. I have a lot of friends in the creative industries: musicians, artists, dancers, writers and the like. Like many artists, they are apt to complain of not being paid enough (or at all) for their art. They bemoan the fact that they … Continue reading On Art vs. Work