Non-financial: January - March 2018 articles archive home
The big error with information has been mistaking the container for the content. When we started turning information into a product post-Gutenberg, it was easy to think that the product was the book; dealing with it like other manufactured goods. In terms of distribution, there wasn't a useful distinction to be made between books and toasters. We're still focused on this idea.
Friday, March 23, 2018 ... more
The first psychological fallacy regarding risk is the tendency to overvalue wagers involving a low probability of a high gain and to undervalue wagers involving a relatively high probability of low gain.
Friday, March 16, 2018 ... more
According to Hugh Thomas, author of 'A History of the World', the greatest medical advance in history has been garbage collection. The greatest psychological advance in history is just around the corner and will also have to do with cleaning up.
Friday, March 9, 2018 ... more
Bad ideas
I'm very busy destroying bad ideas because I keep having them. It's hard for me to just single out one from such a multitude. But I actually like it when I destroy a bad idea because... I think it's my duty to destroy old ideas.
Friday, March 2, 2018 ... more
Need to reframe
Global warming is… like the extinction problem: If you don’t have a way of reversing it, then you’re fighting a losing battle. Whether it’s solar panels, or not using your SUVs as much, or not buying SUVs, or having smaller houses — all of these things are slowing down the inevitable. It’s hard to get excited about that.
Friday, February 23, 2018 ... more
Reason to doubt
George Orwell, identified the problem in Politics and the English Language in 1946 when he wrote that political language “is designed to make lies sound truthful” and consists largely of “euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.”
Friday, February 16, 2018 ... more
Ben Carlson at a Wealth of Common Sense says that, while both are necessary components for long-term success, it’s important to understand the difference between investment management and financial advice.
Friday, February 9, 2018 ... more
Minority rule
Whereas we tend to think that markets are the result of aggregated preferences, actually, a small minority of people who veto something can have a surprisingly large effect on a marketplace if the people who are non-vetoers are happy to go along with a universally acceptable alternative.
Friday, February 2, 2018 ... more
Can't fail
Complex systems don't have causes. There are just patterns and at any point one's state of health can move randomly onto a new path. It is not the particular path that one should think about. You move over an ensemble of possible paths, conditional on how you live and the choices you make.
Friday, January 26, 2018 ... more
The luck of being born in the first place—the ratio of how many people could have been born to those who actually were—is incalculably large, not to mention the luck of being born in a country with a stable political system, a sound economy and a solid infrastructure.
Friday, January 19, 2018 ... more
Capitalism, with its reliance on endless GDP growth – on ever-increasing levels of extraction and production and consumption - is in need of an upgrade. Unfortunately, it has become a dogma, and dogmas die very slowly and very reluctantly
Friday, January 12, 2018 ... more
Enemy of freedom
In a society in which nearly everybody is dominated by somebody else's mind or by a disembodied mind, it becomes increasingly difficult to learn the truth about the activities of governments and corporations
Friday, January 5, 2018 ... more
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