Fond Thinker

Recent research findings for an improved life. Film, music finds, art pieces, alternative literature, and remarkable ideas from the brightest stars. With updates each week.

The High Price of Income Inequality

Those content with income inequality claim that the evidence supports their contentment. The evidence they cite comes from economic models, historic case studies, and human nature. In practice, that means they draw from economics, history and evolutionary psychology to explain and justify how differences determine different incomes; contentment with unequal incomes comes from acceptance of… [Read more]

How The Internet Got Made

There are competing stories about when the internet came into being, who made it, whether it could only be made in America, and where the internet ends and the world wide web begins. These competing stories are evident in online forums such as the HTTP co-inventor Vint Cerf’s post on Quora, and media articles from… [Read more]

How Big-Agri R&D Narratives Disguise Value Extraction

Industries do well insofar as they create value for consumers and producers (Mazzucato 2018). States celebrate businesses that grow and create wealth; sometimes states subsidise them and support them into continued success. For example, more global money still goes to uphold oil companies than goes to renewable firms (Mazzucato 2021). In states’ and companies’ industrial… [Read more]

Over Complex and Under Empirical: What To Do About Finance?

The barbarous gold barons. They did not find the gold. They did not mine the gold. They did not mill the gold. But by some weird alchemy all the gold belonged to them.  — Big Bill Heywood, an American industrial unionist I can calculate the movement of the stars, but not the madness of men…. [Read more]

Innovative Excuses: How Boris Johnson Keeps Renewables Expensive

Boris Johnson declared his green plans on 18 November 2020. Johnson is putting £13bn into innovation in nuclear power plants, hydrogen power plants, electric car subsidies, and carbon capture and storage, among other ventures. At the United Nations’ Conference of the Parties (CoP) on climate change, UK industrial strategy has walked onto the world stage;… [Read more]

Change How We Vote – A Proposal

Voting well requires voting indirectly for desirable policies, so why not vote for policies directly? Policy-voting is just that idea. It proposes that voters elect manifesto policies rather than personalities or parties. The anonymous party that earns the most votes and highest ordinal ranks for its policies wins. Such policies include those touted in manifestos… [Read more]

Blame ‘The House’ Rules: A New Anti-Addiction Policy for the UK

The addictive properties of drugs, gambling machines, algorithm-led compulsions, and policies that permit them have ramifications. The narrative that industries and marketist governments uphold where individuals are free to make their own mistakes, fails to hold up in the light of the evidence. This free-choice narrative in, for instance, the UK Gambling Act 2005 permits… [Read more]

We Can Afford To Insulate Britain

Rishi Sunak has repromised Britain will be carbon neutral in 2050. The current government’s Build Back Better: Our Plan For Growth celebrates cutting-edge technologies and industries, hydrogen, nuclear, and carbon capture and storage (CCS). Sunak is giving them lavish investments in the hope of return. Meanwhile proven solutions such as energy-efficient homes are underappreciated. The… [Read more]

Can biotechnology end suffering?

What if the hospital offered you the chance to make a few DNA tweaks that could ensure your children will live happily ever after? Would you recoil in horror, or jump at the chance? If you could turn back the clock would you choose to remove pain, worry, and anxiety from your own blueprint? Would… [Read more]

Why general artificial intelligence research ignores actual risks

I blush to think how I bought into the idea of ‘the singularity’ or ‘superintelligence’ circa 2018. Gloom-and-doom stories expounded from high-status people like Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, Ray Kurzweil, Nick Bostrom, and an online community of people who brand themselves rationalists – like Robin Hanson and Scott Alexander – goaded me into… [Read more]

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