As above, so below

I've been thinking lately about codes. Not cryptography, but rather the codes by which we govern our lives. At the societal level, the two critical poles come down to trust or control (or liberty or authority). At the individual level, this becomes a choice to be governed by duty or by authority. Similar to how … Continue reading As above, so below

Spin and doctors

The new field of “behavioural linguistics” is very similar to the more well known behavioural economics; in that they are both are part of the same discipline of persuasion, essentially looking at behavioural science principles and how you can apply various ‘behavioural nudges’ to help guide people in specific directions towards particular goals and outcomes; … Continue reading Spin and doctors

Real Scarcity

There is lots to celebrate about creating abundance out of scarcity. Creating scarcity out of abundance, however, is not a fantastic look for any society. And yet here we are - trying to do just that - to create legal monopolies out of thin air. Patents, copyrights, and now, NFTs all fall into this bastard … Continue reading Real Scarcity

The Future – Governments’ Edition

A very short summary of the base-case near-term global future scenario at this point in time: Don't like it? Nothing is set in stone. Remember you cannot comply your way out of (even the banal, bureaucratic sort of) tyranny and do something about it. Don't understand it? Contact me and I'll talk you through the … Continue reading The Future – Governments’ Edition

The Future Starts Now

Yes, this is technically my own book - but I only wrote one of the 20 essays, so I am really more of a reader than a writer here too. Agency is a tricky thing. The less we use it, the more we lose it. The more we give up and outsource our responsibilities, the … Continue reading The Future Starts Now

Let them eat VR NFT cake

"You will own nothing (aside from NFTs), but you will be happy (in VR anyway)”. There is a twisted idea floating around the richer corners of the internet - the idea of "reality privilege". The reality privilege idea is best summed up in this quote from Marc Andreessen: “Your question is a great example of … Continue reading Let them eat VR NFT cake

The Beginning of Infinity

David Deutsch's The Beginning of Infinity is such an important book. For a start it's unashamedly optimistic (which is heretical these days). Indeed, it defends optimism as not only being rational (after all, if we project the likelihood of tomorrows's problems with today;'s technology and understanding, we are bound to err on the side of … Continue reading The Beginning of Infinity

Bad frames

As futurists, our role is to help others understand the world as it is; the likely futures ahead if we don't do anything about it; the trade offs and choices we face; and the complicated potential and probable unintended consequences and collateral damage of our present and future decisions and the incentives that shape them. … Continue reading Bad frames

Virtualised and Discrete

Society is being virtualised in two different ways. Firstly, in the literal sense, as in how more and more of our experience is being digitised. The continuous is continuously being made discrete. What is digitised and discrete can be codified, flattened, and managed into "computer says no/go" rules which allow us to (at least pretend … Continue reading Virtualised and Discrete

Naked, and alone

On reading We have been harmonised I was reminded the if you want to control a large group, one of easiest ways to do that is to get them all 1) naked and 2) alone. Naked, so that they feel watched by the authority, their peers and -more importantly - by their own selves. Religion … Continue reading Naked, and alone