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

hollywood cults and culture

On cults, climate and culture

Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood - based, of course (loosely) on the infamous, real-life story of the Manson Family's murder of Sharon Tait and her friends story gives us a glimpse of the dark side of happy hippie culture - and how counter-culture-culture can turn into a cult. Recently, I was asked to co-author … Continue reading On cults, climate and culture

On mob mentality

The Lottery

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

spy secrets lies futurist

Secrets and Lies

I don't know about you, but I cannot live without a few secrets. Without secrets, without a private inner life, we lose our individuality and our sense of self. Today though, we are bombarded with messages telling us that privacy is worth sacrificing for the greater good; for the good of community security, for the … Continue reading Secrets and Lies

21 Lessons for the 21st Century

Anyone interested in the future is (or should be) familiar with Yuval Noah Harari's work. He is one of the great philosopher-historians of our time and he poses the questions all of us should be asking ourselves and each other. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is his latest offering. It's not my favourite book … Continue reading 21 Lessons for the 21st Century

Cheek to cheek, brain to brain

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOYzFKizikU Dancing cheek to cheek may have been "the" way to get close to someone's thoughts back in Fred Astaire's day, but these days you can literally get into someone else's head. Matrix-style brain-to-brain internet (aka the Internet of People) is here. Mind reading? No problem! Japanese scientists can now de-code your thoughts into visuals that … Continue reading Cheek to cheek, brain to brain

Dystopia Now? – The Future of Digital Dictatorships and Totalitarian Technocracies

There is no doubt in my mind that we will all shortly by ruled by machines. I am not talking about robo-cops and terminators (just yet), but rather about technology-powered governments with increasing, omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience over their subjects. Surveillance? - Check The cellphones in our pockets, the social media platforms that record and store … Continue reading Dystopia Now? – The Future of Digital Dictatorships and Totalitarian Technocracies

The Overton Window is Snapping Shut

Mind your fingers. While Google and Facebook pander to the crowd, serving us ever more polarising content, for ever more clicks, the Overton Window is snapping shut. The already narrow band of socially acceptable ideas is growing narrower, still. It is getting increasingly difficult to find any common ground at all between left and right, … Continue reading The Overton Window is Snapping Shut