We’re told that specialization is the elixir of prosperity, the division of labor the font of civilization itself, but what if that’s not true, at least in the way we think it is? Since the age of the Renaissance Man faded into the history books … Continue readingThe Renaissance Man: Still the Master
When speculating about alien intelligence, much is made of the fact that we see a cosmos primeval rather than a cosmos being eaten away by artifice. What if, instead of proving there are no advanced spacefaring civilizations out there, it proves that some of our … Continue readingInfinite Scattering: The Future of Spacefaring Civilization?
In recent years the “financial independence/retire early” (“FIRE”) movement has risen and gained popularity, starting with a few blogs and spreading outward from there throughout the online world. 813,000 Reddit users subscribe to the main financial independence subreddit (r/financialindependence). Before we get to anything else, … Continue readingPensioners, Aristocrats, and Financial Independence
Much thought has been devoted to the idea of life beyond Earth. While it is often assumed that life both on Earth and on other planets must have arisen independently, their origins separate, the panspermia hypothesis offers an alternative view, that life is not confined … Continue readingPanspermia, the Alpha, and the Omega
How advanced would a spacefaring alien or future civilization become? What is the ultimate fate of intelligence in the universe? Big questions, but there are fundamental underpinnings that affect any civilization that might be out there, perhaps none more fundamental than energy. Civilization’s progress may … Continue readingThe Coming Union of Intelligence and the Cosmos Primeval
What would be the happiest day we could design? It’s an interesting question with large potential implications for how well we live our lives. More precisely, how should we split our time between various activities to maximize happiness and well-being? A fascinating 2013 study (summarized … Continue readingThe Surprising Path to a Happy Everyday Life
Have dystopian futures produced a dystopian present? The world of “the pandemic” in 2020 is often compared with a dystopia, and with good reason. Official control of the minutiae of everyday life, the ruination of livelihoods, the casual slaughter of the dreams of countless millions, … Continue readingOur Dystopian Moment: The Fruit of Our Dystopian Futures
2020 will undoubtedly go down in history as the year “lockdown” was introduced into most people’s vocabularies, the year in which mass imprisonment by decree, without charge, trial, conviction, or even any evidence whatsoever of being sick, was introduced by ruling classes the world over … Continue readingLockdown, the Culture of Fear, and the Politics of the Future
In the previous post on colonizing the Oort cloud, I pointed out that with sufficiently cheap transportation technology any place within range will be inhabited to some extent by recreational-touristic populations or populations that deliberately seek out isolation. This outermost part of the solar system … Continue readingThe Sun as Gravitational Lens: A Breakthrough Technology?