I Want Rocket Scientists to Have the Rockets

I want those who know how to create the most value out of a resource to have the most access to it.  Silicon and copper in my hands are just about worthless, yet in the hands of computer manufacturers they can change the world and make millions of lives better, not to mention dramatically reduce…


Video Games as High Art

A few years back, I listened to a phenomenal ten-part lecture series on commerce and culture by Paul Cantor.  In the final lecture, he discusses the future of art, and his prediction is that video games will emerge as the next dominant medium.  I thought it was an interesting conjecture, but it…


Good Enough for a Dog?

I'm not a dog owner, but everyone else seems to really love their dogs.  So much so, that if I offered the following service, most would consider it beneath them as pet owners to take me up: Every work day, you'll wake your dog before it wants to get up, force feed it some breakfast, and tie it to…


The Renewing of the Mind

The transition from one deeply held belief to another is not a matter of intellectual argument.  It's not a matter of adapting a new set of ideas on an issue, it's a matter of becoming a new person.  The more deeply held the belief, the truer this is and the more laborious the transition. It does…


Roll without Models

If information about someone you've never met would devastate you, you might be idolizing them.  Role models are not helpful.  They usually start off in a positive, inspiring way, but result in disappointment, confusion, or naivety.  The reason is that, while ideas, traits and tendencies can be a…


The (un)Will(ingness) of the People (to resist)

In political systems, democratic or otherwise, people don't get what they want or deserve, they get what they don't care enough about to resist.


In Praise of Discontentment

On more than one recent occasion I have publicly complained about air travel. In nearly every instance, someone responds by sharing a video clip of comedian Louis C.K. reminding us that everything is amazing and nobody's happy. His point is that we need to be more content with the wealth,…


Break Your Paradigm, Enhance Your Paradigm

"[T]he scene in which we live is an abstraction, experience must be make-believe, a painting by some clever master" The quote is from the fascinating book Phi.  It comes during a discussion of art, and how it represents the underlying truth in an object or concept, even though to do this, it must…


When to Take the Plunge

Every idea is not worth pursuing.  Even good ideas may not be worth pursuing.  And sometimes, even mediocre ideas are worth pursuing. If you're thinking in terms of odds of success, you might be going about it the wrong way.  It's very difficult to realistically assess the odds of success.  If you…


Interview with a Renaissance Man: Jeff Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is a pioneer in the emerging world of digitally driven freedom.  He's been ahead of the curve in online publishing, building virtual intellectual communities, and exploring the myriad ways technology lets us live outside the state.  He's a challenger of the status quo, and one who…