Thoughts

Paperclip minimiser dystopia

Paperclip minimiser dystopia

In the classic paperclip maximiser thought experiment; an AI is tasked with making paperclips. Innocent enough. However, the AI is also not told when to stop. Driven by the singular goal to make as many paperclips as possible, the AI eventually destroys not only our planet, and our selves, but the entire universe, as it … Continue reading Paperclip minimiser dystopia

Open Basic Income

From UBI to OBI – Open Basic Income

I think we need a new vocabulary to distinguish between Universal Basic Income - as form of compulsory (for the tax payer) state-mandated welfare system and - and self-sustaining incentive-driven free-market, voluntary, private sector supported income network systems. I propose OBI: Open Basic Income for these bottom up systems, Open as in Open to all … Continue reading From UBI to OBI – Open Basic Income

A few of my favourite things

A few of my favourite things

I find myself sharing the same essays over and over again, and I thought it would be useful to collect all these perennial favourites into one resource. Enjoy the rabbit hole. On the tyranny of the minority - or why the most unreasonable win: https://medium.com/incerto/the-most-intolerant-wins-the-dictatorship-of-the-small-minority-3f1f83ce4e15O On luxury beliefs: https://nypost.com/2019/08/17/luxury-beliefs-are-the-latest-status-symbol-for-rich-americans/ On why there are (still) no … Continue reading A few of my favourite things

The grand trilemma

The grand trilemma

Life is all about choices, and choices are all about trade offs. This little chart I made - which combines the logic of the Nolan Chart and the "political triangle" in a simplified way focused on the core trade-offs of the various political ideas - has helped me to think about some of the biggest … Continue reading The grand trilemma

The Red Queen

The Red Queen

The Red Queen is a long, hard look at human nature. It reminds us that in spite of our skyscrapers and space rockets, we humans are still, deep down, naked apes with animal instincts and desires. The most base desire we (as a species and as individuals) have is for immortality - genetic immortality, creative … Continue reading The Red Queen

this is not propaganda

This is not Propaganda

Peter Pomerantsev's This is Not Propaganda is a book about our times for our times. It addresses the central catch-22 of our information age; namely whether central censorship (with the risk of top down propaganda) or decentralised free range information (with the risk democracy-destabilising fake news) is the lessor evil - or, more concerning, if … Continue reading This is not Propaganda

The Future is History

The Future is History

"We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us." - A Soviet joke The Future is History by Masha Gessen is in someways the flip-side of Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism. While The Origins of Totalitarianism explains exactly that, how societies lose themselves to totalitarian ideology, The Future is History deals with the … Continue reading The Future is History

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

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