January 24, 2023 4:00 pm

The Angel of The Year: 2022

The Angel of The Year award is given to, “that person or entity who has been praised, lauded and publicly adored more than any other being on our planet over the past year.” To be awarded this honor, the recipient must have attained exalted status in more human minds than anyone else.  The words “publicly … Continue reading “The Angel of The Year: 2022”

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January 22, 2023 4:00 pm

Is It True That Only Moral People Can Be Free?

People sometimes talk about freedom requiring morality and even religion. The famous quote along these lines is from John Adams, who wrote that the US constitution was made for “a moral and religious people,” going on to say that it’s unfit for any other kind. Nothing against Mr. Adams, but that passage is a mere … Continue reading “Is It True That Only Moral People Can Be Free?”

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January 20, 2023 4:00 pm

Earned Knowledge, L3, P1

Variations And The End of The Model As we mentioned in Lesson #2, once hard and aggressive people in other places knew that kingship worked so well in Mesopotamia, they began to copy it. And so the “kingship from Eridu” model began to spread all through the ancient Near East. But while all of them … Continue reading “Earned Knowledge, L3, P1”

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January 18, 2023 1:09 pm

Demon of The Year: 2022

The Demon of The Year award is given to, “that person or entity who has terrified more children, raised more blood pressure and/or been more reflexively hated than any other being on our planet over the past year.” How grounded in reality any of the above may be is not an issue in determining the … Continue reading “Demon of The Year: 2022”

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January 15, 2023 4:00 pm

What About Environmental Concerns Over Crypto Mining?

I learned long ago that when institutions decide to ride a subject, they can do so mercilessly. By endless repetition people are worn down into compliance… and then into defense of their compliance. I’ve seen it too many times. And so, seeing them harping on “Bitcoin isn’t environmentally friendly,” I feel a need to defend … Continue reading “What About Environmental Concerns Over Crypto Mining?”

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January 13, 2023 4:00 pm

Earned Knowledge L2, P4

What Happened Over Time Mesopotamia, at 7,000 BC, even at 5,000 BC, was mostly a wide open place. But as rulership grew and spread, life there was progressively choked. By 3,000 BC, the entire area was controlled by centralized power… by a vast network of kings, overseen by a “king of kings.” More than 100 … Continue reading “Earned Knowledge L2, P4”

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January 8, 2023 4:00 pm

If There’s Life And Death, There’s Right And Wrong

Life and death are absolute standards… absolute and objective standards. The absolute standard of life as good is upheld, in actual practice, by every person who takes medicine, or by anyone who avoids danger. Oceans of rhetoric can’t negate this, and we’re not alone in it: Every other species on this planet acts to stay … Continue reading “If There’s Life And Death, There’s Right And Wrong”

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January 6, 2023 4:00 pm

Earned Knowledge, L2, P3

How People Lived These people were very similar to the westward-moving farmers, and enjoyed more or less everything we described in Lesson #1. What they no longer had was mobility. They were forced by rulers into tight clusters; that is, into cities, where they could be watched. (One of the oldest words for “city” meant … Continue reading “Earned Knowledge, L2, P3”

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January 5, 2023 4:00 pm

The FTX Heist, In Brief

The section I am repeating below was published two days ago in our Parallel Society subscription newsletter. I don’t like posting things that my subscribers have paid for, but in this case it’s only a small section of the letter and I think my subscribers would agree that it’s a worthwhile service to the greater … Continue reading “The FTX Heist, In Brief”

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January 1, 2023 4:00 pm

Post-Primate Society: A New Look At The Human Story

Last week I released a new book on Post-Primate Society. I posted it to our members page, available to all our paid subscribers. I’ve also uploaded it to Kindle. A printed book may follow at some point, but I’m not sure when.  There is a lot to be said about this book, but I think … Continue reading “Post-Primate Society: A New Look At The Human Story”

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December 30, 2022 4:00 pm

A New Year’s Meditation

If you could go back in time a thousand years, you’d find people who were shockingly similar to those you presently love. The same is true for people who will live a thousand years from now. Some of them will be nearly identical to the people you now love, and you would care as deeply … Continue reading “A New Year’s Meditation”

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December 25, 2022 4:00 pm

We Can Double Human Creativity

Yes, I’m completely serious about this, and double is a conservative estimate. But before I get to the numbers, I’d like you to consider the role of creativity in human life. The vast majority of creative acts – inventions, musical compositions, great art, new business ideas and so on – are unknown to us. And … Continue reading “We Can Double Human Creativity”

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December 23, 2022 4:00 pm

Earned Knowledge L2, P2

Efficient Plunder A new model of plunder began in southern Mesopotamia at about 5,400 BC. The place it began was a small city called Eridu (e-REE-doo), which later kings claimed was the place where “kingship descended from heaven.” The great change of Eridu’s “kingship” was this: Rather than using fear and force, kingship convinced the … Continue reading “Earned Knowledge L2, P2”

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December 18, 2022 4:00 pm

Everyone Got It Anyway

As the year 2020 arrived, we were living and thinking as we had been in 2019, 2018 and 2017. There was plenty of fear and outrage in the world, but the levels were fairly smooth. And then, unexpectedly, a long and nightmarish storm battered us. We’ve all lived through three years of intimidation and fear. … Continue reading “Everyone Got It Anyway”

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