The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed. William Gibson, The Economist, 4/12/2003 The crypto-currency thing has been going for a while now, but this post has been precipitated by the recent story that the government of El Salvador has expressed the desire to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. Leaving aside theContinue reading “On crypto-currencies”
Some years back, Wendell Berry published an essay collection with the pertinent title: What are people for? (Counterpoint, 2010; ISBN 978-1582434872), and it’s a very good question. What, according to the commonly-accepted values of our civilisation, are people for? Economists will tell you that people are producers and consumers of goods and services. But bothContinue reading “On people”
Those who had wanted to go home would never get there now. Wendell Berry, “The objective” There are many people in the industrialised world who currently have no fixed address – some of them voluntarily, but most of them not. Exactly how many depends on who you believe. Government statistics will naturally understate the figuresContinue reading “On homelessness”
The whole dream of democracy is to raise the proletarian to the level of stupidity attained by the bourgeois. Gustave Flaubert The word “democracy” comes to us from the Greeks, and was originally a term of abuse. It means, literally, “mob rule”, as distinct from “aristocracy”, or “rule by the best people.” (Of course exactlyContinue reading “On democracy”
The scale of recent changes across the climate system as a whole and the present state of many aspects of the climate system are unprecedented over many centuries to many thousands of years. IPPC AR6 WG1 Headline Statements from the Summary for Policymakers I don’t propose to go into the ins and outs of theContinue reading “On the latest IPCC report”
It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live. Marcus Aurelius, Meditations If you know nothing else about the Tarot, you will have seen this card. It is the one that the gypsy fortune-teller always picks out in every cheesy horror film or TV show since theContinue reading “On my favourite Tarot trump”
Hubris calls for nemesis, and in one form or another it’s going to get it, not as a punishment from outside but as the completion of a pattern already started. Mary Midgley, The Myths We Live by According to Stewart Brand, we are as gods; and this certainly seems to be a widespread view, judgingContinue reading “On superpowers”
I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail. Abraham Maslow, Toward a Psychology of Being It is not, I suppose, controversial to suggest that many people these days are confused about a lot of things. I know I am. Sometimes,Continue reading “On asking the right questions”
Exterminate! Every dalek ever Anyone who has even the vaguest idea about Doctor Who – the British Sci-fi TV series which has been going almost as long as I have – is familiar with the Daleks. The Doctor has grappled with many foes over that timespan, but the Daleks are the classic adversaries. However oftenContinue reading “On being the villain”
Personally, I refuse to drive a car – I won’t have anything to do with any kind of transportation in which I can’t read. Arthur C. Clarke, Report on Planet Three The picture above is of Kathmandu. I mention this fact just because it could be a picture of almost any city that has beenContinue reading “On cars”
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