Dolly Church | Real Life | 18th November 2021
Telepathy has long been conceptualised, both by psychologists and science fiction writers, as a more honest means of communication than speech. But the version of Ursula K. Le Guin's "mindspeak" likely to be delivered by Silicon Valley will be more like a "trick leg at a séance" in which algorithms aggregate our data and infer our thoughts. Unless Elon Musk puts a chip in your head, that is (2,105 words)
Uri Bram | The Browser | 15th December 2021
A brief introduction to Georgism, the economic philosophy that argues for taxing the unimproved value of land. The value of our collective investment in location-specific amenities accrues very largely to the owners of prime locations, who can then extract monopoly rents. "Rather than forcibly expropriate it at gunpoint, we can just let people keep title to land and simply levy a sufficient tax" (5,545 words)
Umami's not what you think it is. It's translated as "savoriness", but that's usually misinterpreted as a kind of general descriptor, the way food could be called "filling" or "chewy". It's also got a sense of being this subtle and higher-order property of good cooking, brought to us from the mysterious East. Find out more at Atoms vs Bits.
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