Category Archives: ideas

The Myths Of Meritocracy

“The whole process of constructing life narratives is biased in ways that almost guarantee that people won’t recognize the role of chance events adequately. We remember the moments or months of perseverance that contributed to our triumphs, but forget, or even fail to notice, when Lady Fortune smiles on us: a great teacher, a chance […]

How Blockchain Is Subverting Censorship In China

The anonymous activists sent themselves zero Ether on the platform and embedded the text of Yue’s open letter in the transaction’s metadata. Transactions on blockchain are irreversible, so the information cannot be altered. Furthermore, transactions generate distributed copies of themselves within the network, which ensured that Yue’s letter would be permanently documented in the public domain and […]

Study: Employees Are Happier, More Productive After Switching To Four-day Work Week

Jarrod Haar, a human resources professor at Auckland University of Technology, said employees reported a 24 percent improvement in work-life balance, and came back to work energized after their days off. “Supervisors said staff were more creative, their attendance was better, they were on time, and they didn’t leave early or take long breaks,” Mr. […]

What The Success Of Netflix Tells Us About Competition, Ideas, And Data

Here are three lessons from the rise of Netflix that apply to every company: Big data is powerful, but big data plus big ideas is transformational. Netflix is a technology juggernaut whose analytics, algorithms, and digital-streaming innovations have changed how customers watch movies and TV shows. But this technology has always been in service of a unique point […]

Toasters Are Your Gateway To Artificial Intelligence

Developers who train machine-learning algorithms have found that it often makes sense to build toasters rather than wonder-boxes. That might seem counterintuitive, because the AIs of Western science fiction tend to resemble C-3PO in Star Wars or WALL-E in the eponymous film – examples of artificial general intelligence (AGI), automata that can interact with the world like […]

Do Psychedelics Teach Anything Objective About The Brain? Or Is All Culturally Biased?

We hope that we are discovering something objectively true about the brain, or about ultimate reality. And psychedelic neuroscience might discover certain common neural patterns underlying different types of psychedelic experience. But as for the subjective experience, how do we know if our trips reveal ‘ultimate reality’ or just the reflection of our subconscious?

Is Economics Incompatible With Humanities?

Economics, Morson and Schapiro say, has three systematic biases: it ignores the role of culture, it ignores the fact that “to understand people one must tell stories about them,” and it constantly touches on ethical questions beyond its ken. Culture, stories, and ethics are things that can’t be reduced to equations, and economics accordingly has […]

Will Robot Labor Free Us To Pursue Our Passions?

“Just as the division of labor among humans leads to much better work outcomes, so will the rise of automation benefit the worker. Only the outcome will be many multiples greater than that which springs from human divisions of labor. Imagine the future if robots achieve their potential to erase all manner of work forms,” […]