The Health of the People is the Highest Law

Death is Option­al is a fas­ci­nat­ing and ter­ri­fy­ing (alter­nate­ly and con­cur­rent­ly) con­ver­sa­tion between his­to­ri­an Yuval Noah Harari and behav­iour­al econ­o­mist Daniel Kah­ne­man, in which Harari uses his knowl­edge of the past to make pre­dic­tions about the future. In one very mem­o­rable exchange he talks about the pre­sump­tion we cur­rent­ly hold, that new advances in med­i­cine will […]

The Future Is Coming Faster Than We Think

Today I read a fas­ci­nat­ing arti­cle in the Lon­don Review of Books. The Robots Are Com­ing, by John Lan­ches­ter, is about the rise of cheap automa­tion and the effect it’s going to have on the work­force and soci­ety at large. In his intro­duc­tion he talks about the Accel­er­at­ed Strate­gic Com­put­ing Ini­tia­tive’s com­put­er, Red, launched in 1996 and […]

Shame and Social Engineering

Just fin­ished read­ing So You’ve Been Pub­licly Shamed, Jon Ronson’s zeit­geisty book about social media pile-ons. There were many, many good points in the book, but I for­got to high­light them as I was enjoy­ing read­ing it so much. One thing that has stuck in my mind, how­ev­er, is an email exchange with the film-mak­er Adam Cur­tis, […]