Fake news, social media manipulation, government propaganda – the list goes on, so who do we now trust to understand the “truth”. In the old days, it was enough that it came from a reputable organisation like a top university (say Harvard or Cambridge), government body (say the FDA or UN) or large media company (say the BBC or NY Times). The internet and perhaps more importantly the social media era disrupted that. Continue reading “Overcoming Fake News – Welcome To the Reputation Age (3 min read)”
In Western society, there is a common narrative around the history of science and religion. It argues that we were on the right track of rationality and science with the classical Greeks like Plato and Socrates. Then we had a long dark ages where superstition and religion dominated. But from around the 1500s we got back on track with the Renaissance with figures like Da Vinci, Galileo and Isaac Newton. Continue reading “The Sins Of Isaac Newton (3 min read)”
That’s the outline of Andy Weir’s latest novel, Artemis. He previously wrote the bestseller, The Martian, which later became a movie featuring Matt Damon. As you can tell, Weir loves to tell stories about space travel. But more than that, he brings a realism to his stories that given them a strong sense of plausibility. In fact, with Artemis he even wrote a blog about how the economy of a moon colony (Artemis) would work (it would survive on tourism). Continue reading “Heard About the Saudi Woman On the Moon?”
Speech given to the management team of a global multinational earlier this week. I’ve left out content that I covered in a previous speech
Peter Thiel, the co-founder of Paypal with Elon Musk, famously said that we were promised flying cars and we got 140 characters. This touches on the dichotomy between the world of atoms (the physical realm) and the world of bits (the digital realm). The tech revolution of recent decades has focused on evaporating physical products from books to music to films into the digital ether. This has transformed those industries in terms of content generation, distribution and the ability to scale, but our physical worlds still kinda feel the same. Continue reading “I Don’t Want Tweets, I Want Flying Cars (4 min read)”
Remember 1997? The year of Titanic, the first Harry Potter book and the best-selling Nokia 610. It was also the first year Jeff Bezos wrote a shareholder letter for his three-year old Amazon.com.
It makes fascinating reading. He talks about expanding staff from 158 to 614, having cash balances of $125mn and establishing strategic relationships with Yahoo, Netscape, GeoCities (I vaguely remember them), @Home (?) and Prodigy (?). He was especially proud of increasing sales from $16 million to $148 million. Continue reading “What Amazon’s Bezos Told Us In 1997”
I love podcasts. They’re one of my favourite ways of learning. They’re also incredibly efficient as you can listen to them while you’re walking or on the subway. I have my favourites, but I’m still scouring the world for new podcasts. This year has been great in that regard, and while there have many duds, these 12 are excellent: Continue reading “12 Great New Podcasts I Discovered In 2017”