This is the first of my vexing questions that the plot of Pheno War will be playing with. If you’re not familiar with the concept of the revolutionary phenotype, the argument goes something like this: Life is primarily an information-replication process. Replication, because mere preservation is subject to decay and oblivion. The errors and variances that are introduced in the act of replication give us the process of evolution. The foundational tool of this replication process in life as we know it is DNA.
I’ve resolved to produce a novel by the end of the year, and it can be helpful to announce your goal to increase the pressure to actually fulfill it. I know I’m not the only potential author suffering that one-two punch of self-doubt and perfectionism so don’t be afraid to poke me in the comments if it looks like I’m slacking. There is a particular idea I wish to explore, elucidated in such books as The Revolutionary Phenotype and The Intelligent Universe.
I’ve been listening to Mark Spitznagel’s The Dao of Capital, which is three parts philosophy, two parts history, and one part investing advice, so if you’re into that sort of thing and don’t mind the same concept hammered home in a dozen different examples across multiple categories, you will love this book. In the chapter about the concept of “time preference,” he uses a striking turn of phrase when talking about the reality of our future selves and distant descendants.
One of the most important subjects in the news right now is Julian Assange and what the United States government ends up doing with him. It will be very telling how his case gets handled. Does he just vanish into a prison cell forever? Or is he brought before a jury of his peers where the allegations against him are articulated in the light of day and he is allowed to defend himself?
Followers of the Austrian economists (if you are at all sincere about understanding political economy you should at least get familiar with their arguments) frequently lament that the Keynesian social-democrat mainstream not only disagrees with them, but never even bothers to argue against them, treating them instead as if they were invisible or worse, attacking idiotic strawmen instead. But every once in a while I notice a truth, revealed long ago through reason by the Austrians, peeking through when a modern Keynesian happens to write about real world effects that seemed to him counter-intuitive.