Existential travel at home: how to avoid being a tourist in your own country

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Often our lives can become a kind of packaged tour. While our daily routine may be relaxed and safe, our lives are no longer challenging. After a while of riding the gravy train express, we may start to feel like we are on a luxurious rail tour, yearning for the adventure of an backpacking trip around the world.

How can we make sure that our lives - whether we be at home or abroad - do not just become ‘Contiki Tours’ by any other name?

The United what of America?

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"It has been frequently noted that many corporations exceed nation states in GDP. It has been less frequently noted that some also exceed them in population (employees). But it is odd that the comparison hasn't been taken further. Since so many live in the state of the corporation, let us take the comparison seriously and ask the following question. What kind of states are giant corporations? In comparing countries, after the easy observations of population size and GDP, it is usual to compare the system of government, the major power groupings and the civic freedoms available to their populations.

Game theory and cycling: John Nash, the case against bike helmets, and all’s fair on-road and off

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During the cold war there was a substantial amount of theoretical research done into Game Theory. John Forbs Nash - the psychotic protagonist of A Beautiful Mind - led this in an investigation of how the U.S. could make nuclear war a ‘lose-lose’ scenario. They wanted to create a Nash equilibrium - where the Soviets, acting in their own best interest, knew that it would not be worth their while to use first-strike capabilities.

My new favorite function on Facebook

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[-] Block Lists Edit your lists of blocked people and applications.

A brief criticism of The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers

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I recently managed to locate a copy of Robert Greene and Joost Elffers’s 1998 book The 48 Laws of Power. I remember seeing it on the bed of a housemate - a real believer in the ‘dog eat dog’ model of the world - a few years back; clearly, this was pleasant nighttime reading for the Machiavellian-at-heart. I have an instant dislike of following most of these principles - and yet I continued to scan through it, and for two reasons. Firstly, learning what others might be doing or trying to do to me helps me guard against falling victim to them. Secondly, I continued to read this book in order to recognize my own use of some of these strategies, and so train myself out of using them.