Are you living in a computer simulation?

In 2003 Nick Bostrom published a thought-provoking paper in Philosophical Quarterly entitled ‘Are you living in a computer simulation?’ The premise of the paper was that any one of the following statements must be correct. 1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage. 2) any posthuman civilisation is extremely unlikely […]

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Perfunctory Cover-Ups

Sometimes a memory hits you, triggered by a momentary sensation. Today, while washing my hands in a small public sink, where you have to have one hand constantly pressed down on the faucet to keep the water running, reminded me of a visit to the former Nazi ghetto and concentration camp in the Czech Republic: […]

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Spatial and Temporal Capital

As the rate of return on capital increases at a faster rate than income, inequality increases. This leads to centralisation of wealth and comparative diminution in the financial power of the consumer. We are seeing this take place today, as small businesses are ripped off the high-street by multi-national corporations. As these corporations expand, they […]

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Madness

People often use the word ‘mad’ or ‘crazy’ to denigrate an individual. This is most often done in defence of the status quo. You are often considered mad simply if you are abnormal. A mad person may be someone who threatens the comfort zone of others. Someone who makes the majority question a facet of […]

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The Fourth Industrial Revolution

“We need a shift to a new system that will allow us to meet the basic needs of every human on the planet, that will live within planetary means, that will be fairer, and that will be focused as its key goal not on growth per se, but on maximising human well-being. History tells us […]

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Utopia

The word ‘utopia’ traces its origins to the title of a book written by Thomas More in 1515. At the time, a new elite was amassing wealth by enclosing common lands and Utopia was written as a damning critique. It attacked the practice of hanging thieves and denounced the king for ruling over a nation of […]

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No Need for Translation

Have you ever listened to a piece of music in a language you do not understand, yet are profoundly moved? One does need to understand Spanish, to comprehend the suffering that the children separated from their parents at the US Mexican border are facing. One does not need to understand Arabic, to recognize the plight […]

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The Era of the Empath

Poppy Crum’s talk from April of this year discusses in 12 short minutes the possibilities inherent in a technology that can read and understand our ‘chemical signatures’; our biological tells. It is rare in life for humans to fully or efficiently convey their feelings and emotions to one another. Often because they may not understand […]

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Wealth Inequality

“Today’s high levels of wealth inequality are not inevitable, they are a political choice”  – The Independent  In 2017 more than 70 percent of the world’s adults own under $10,000 in wealth. This 70.1 percent of the world holds only 3 percent of global wealth. The world’s wealthiest individuals, those owning over $100,000 in assets, […]

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Humour

When recognizing the confines of our human rationality, our automatic and mechanized daily routines, as well as our sometimes empty internal thought processes, it can be easy to enter into a dark pit of nihilism. Yet, as Camus maintains in The Myth of Sisyphus, a recognition of the absurdity of the modern human condition, can also […]

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