Very Personal Futures

People are just waking up to the fact that the same cryptographic game theory and technology involved in creating and securing the digital scarcity and ownership immutability that make cryptocurrencies, NFTs (non-fungible tokens) of digital goods and services (from gifs and articles to tracks and tweets) valuable and tradable, can also be used to mint … Continue reading Very Personal Futures

Why Optimism Makes People Angry

Why does optimism make people angry? If you even mention the word in mixed company, not only do you get ridiculed and treated as though you are a little simple, it actually makes people angry. At you. But why is this? As a natural pessimist (I am terrible cynic) I have a few ideas. Pessimism, … Continue reading Why Optimism Makes People Angry

Consider the Lobster (and Friends)

“…a peculiarly American loneliness: the prospect of dying without having once loved something more than yourself" ~ David Foster Wallace Sex and loneliness (and how porn may, indeed, be more human than Hollywood after all). How masculinity is falling out of fashion. Critical culture wars over words (and how he who controls the dictionary controls … Continue reading Consider the Lobster (and Friends)

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

2021 a Year in Books

What I read in 2021, the comprehensive list. How to read this list: *  = Recommend** = Really recommendNC = No comment (or, really, do not bother)RR = Re-readF = FictionNF = Non-fictionP = Plays No, I won't be posting purchase links, I suggest you purchase a copy of whatever sounds interesting from your favourite local second … Continue reading 2021 a Year in Books

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

Henry Hazlitt

The Way to Willpower

“What can it profit a man to think if he does not dare to?” ~ Henry Hazlitt Henry Hazlitt is one of my favourite clear thinkers. The Way to Willpower is a straight talking guide to personal motivation (not my favourite genre by a long stretch, but somehow Hazlitt makes even self improvement bearable). The … Continue reading The Way to Willpower

Machette season

Machette Season

“Evil comes from a failure to think. It defies thought for as soon as thought tries to engage itself with evil and examine the premises and principles from which it originates, it is frustrated because it finds nothing there. That is the banality of evil.”~ Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality … Continue reading Machette Season