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

The fine print

Perhaps the biggest policy skeleton key of them all has to be single-payer, free-at-the-point-of-purchase (that is, paid for by strangers) national health insurance / social security. This is, let us be frank, a new experiment. The first test subjects are still alive, and the future sustainability of these nice entitlements is far from guaranteed. What … Continue reading The fine print

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

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

Tend your garden, Defend your garden

Two quotes to get you through chaotic times, when it feels like things are spiralling out of control: Tend your own garden "Life is bristling with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to cultivate one's garden." ~ Voltaire In a literal and figurative sense : look after yourself, take responsibility for your own … Continue reading Tend your garden, Defend your garden

Deed, seed, creed – and the war on death

"Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?"~ Terry Pratchett When it comes down to it, although our day to day lives may be driven by envy; what we want, what we really, really want, as conscious human beings, is immortality. Traditionally, this has taken one of three routes … Continue reading Deed, seed, creed – and the war on death

Be careful what you beg for

It has been rather depressing to watch people get exactly what they want. In South Africa in March, people begged to "be lead" through the COVID crisis - and they were. Crop-bottom pant regulations, arbitrary prohibition and all. They are now number three on the global misery index. In the UK, people demanded schools were shut down - … Continue reading Be careful what you beg for

strange 70s food

WTF Happened in the 1970s?

Money gets surreal when it becomes untethered from reality; and a lot of strange financial wizardry began decoupling real value and nominal financial money in and around the 1970's. The website wfthappendin1978.com tells the story in pictures, in a series of economic charts that illustrate better than a thousand essays would, what happens when the rules … Continue reading WTF Happened in the 1970s?