Punching back against nihilism

The brain is stuck on hype rather than facts and figures. It devours the external stimuli of incessant feeds and 24/7 news and predictably shuns the details. If we want to overthrow the swathe of nihilism, then we need to create a system that supports credibility. The algorithm failed to do it. Pre-programmed maths exposed […]

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Cultivating disparate views

Two America’s, two different realities. If you can shape your own feeds and build an arsenal of self-confirming information, why do you ever have to see the other side? But that’s precisely the problem. Inundated with reassurances and accelerated culture, people promptly ignore what they disagree with. Technology is not neutral; instead, it is weaponized […]

Relic of the past

A combination of elements, a mere idea transforms into something new. From Polaroid to Instagram, railroad to internet, snail mail to email, what is the future but a remix of stems mashed up and built on top of extant systems. We introduce new things and promptly forget that they already existed, in the guise of […]

Regression in time

You’re part of an idea. So is every variety of human. One idea is that democracy is the best form of government. But we can’t hide its flaws. It still allows for bombastic celebrities to take charge. Humans are also part of nature. We are to climate change what the asteroid was to the dinosaur. […]

Embrace the void

Most people can’t stand to be left out the loop. The urge to know is what keeps them on their feet, building a knowledge base of facts that usually amounts to gossip. Ignorance is therefore a discipline. Just as we can’t do everything, we can’t stay totally informed either. Ambient awareness already cultivates more information […]

The rebel. RIP John McCain, ‘McNasty’

Whipsawed by family relocations, young John attended some 20 schools before finally settling into Episcopal High School, an all-white, all-boys boarding school in Alexandria, Va., in the fall of 1951 for his last three years of secondary education. The school, with an all-male faculty and enrollments drawn mostly from upper-crust families of the Old South, […]

The change game

The older you get, the less inclined you are to care what other people think. Individuality hardens with age. It is not for lack of interest. The wise person is always looking for new ways to challenge their views. They separate their emotions from the facts. But experience also teaches them they’ve seen enough to […]

The link between rainfall and the duration of Roman emperors

There’s an interesting piece in The Economist about the link between rainfall and the rise and fall of Roman emperors. One such lesson is how drought affected the stability of the Roman empire 1,500 years ago. In a new paper published in Economics Letters, Cornelius Christian of Brock University and Liam Elbourne of St Francis Xavier University identify […]

Looking ahead, seeing behind

Stuck in the moment, nostalgic for the past. How do people run life at a dizzying pace while also wanting society to replicate the 1950s?  Technology facilitates progress yet turns back the clock on thinking. Mobile phones allow anyone with an account to amplify misinformation and weaken the willpower to do good. Even the inactive […]

Coping with the cesspool of news

There’s a certain smugness people get in ignoring the news. Congratulations, you have no idea what’s going on! But I like to stay informed. I’d prefer Walden with Wi-Fi.  While most of the stories are flotsam, sometimes that one little insight can make the biggest impact on your train of thought. The trick is to stay […]

The script, the story

How many of us are just acting our way through life, adapting to different settings like chameleons? Situational elasticity lends its hand to the collaborative truth, that people inject each other with signaling serum. We try to demonstrate to others ‘this is who I am and this what I do.’ All life is a stage, […]

Identifying what matters

The brain is an empty void. It waits to remember until we give things meaning. Otherwise, it clings to the instincts of the amagdyla for its main sensory perception. Thankfully, our brains are large processors. It knows that survival depends on exchanging information with others. Information is quid pro quo. But the problem with oral […]

Trent Reznor on musicians addressing politics

I was doing press with somebody in the mid-90s, and they made an argument that stayed with me: that I have influence, and that it’s my job to call out whatever needs to be called out, because there are people who feel the same way but need someone to articulate it. And I think about […]