Thoughts

Cultural Amnesia

"But in Rome, the consuls, the Senate, the knights, rushed headlong into servitude" ~ Tacitus What an utterly extraordinary book. There are not many people who made me feel badly read - Clive James is one of them. Clive James's Cultural Amnesia is an incredible, rich, well researched provocative book. It is a collection of … Continue reading Cultural Amnesia

The truth machine

If you can take a collection of junk bonds and securitise them into A-grade "investment" assets (hello collateralised debt obligations); or if you can do the same thing with bundling shitcoins and DIY NFTs into "no risk" lending opportunities - if you can take trash and by simply combining it with more trash magically transform … Continue reading The truth machine

Skeleton Key Laws

Not with a bang, with a whimper, the world moves from objective rule of law, to subjective rule by law. There are more and more open-ended, multi-purpose "skeleton key" laws being passed in (supposedly) liberal democracies that can be used to punish, criminalise almost anyone at will. Of particular concern are any laws that criminalise … Continue reading Skeleton Key Laws

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

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

We have been harmonised

We Have Been Harmonised by Kai Strittmatter makes for uncomfortable reading. The book details the seemingly unstoppable slide towards the total surveillance state (or the 360 degree, 4D WiFi curtain, as I like to call our emerging omniscient open air prison reality), not just in the Communist Party of China's China, but all over the … Continue reading We have been harmonised