Blog

US Gov Antitrust Action on Digital Monopolies including Facebook,Google and Amazon

4 June 2019

Promising news of US Gov Antitrust action on digital monopolies such as Facebook, Google etc: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/03/technology/facebook-ftc-antitrust.html But we need more than traditional antitrust (“closing door after horse has bolted). We need an the Open Revolution: https://openrevolution.net/ For specific analysis and remedies for these digital monopolies see: https://rufuspollock.com/2018/02/24/solving-the-internet-monopolies-problem-google-facebook-etc/ https://rufuspollock.com/ubernomics/

Getting Things Done by David Allen

27 May 2019

9⁄10. Decades of learning distilled in one simple, complete package. I also appreciate the Zen / Landmarkian underpinnings. There is one caveat, common to all productivity / personal development techniques, namely: the devil will be in the implementation, i.e. the self-discipline and practice to apply the techniques – no matter however great the ideas and processes are (“ideas are cheap, implementation is costly”). For example, I’ve heard about this many times in the last 15+ years, and come across bits and pieces, but it has taken until now for me to knuckle down and really read the book – and my implementation has only just started.

Ursula Le Guin: the fears predominate these days

7 May 2019

Actually, I don’t exactly have expectations. I have hopes, and fears. Mostly the fears predominate these days. When my kids were young I could still hope we might not totally screw up the environment for them, but now that we’ve done so, and are more deeply sold out than ever to profiteering industrialism with its future-horizon of a few months, any hope I have that coming generations may have ease and peace in life has become very tenuous, and has to reach far, far forward into the dark.

The Primacy of Collective Being, or Culture Beats Institutions - the Example of Italy

21 April 2019

Italy provides a perfect natural experiment regarding “being” (aka culture) vs structure (aka institutions). We have the same institutions be that at Risorgimento in 1871 or new regionalism in the 1970s, but very different cultures – crudely the “North” and the “South”. And culture absolutely dominated: The new institutions of the unified nation-state, far from homogenizing traditional patterns of politics, were themselves pulled ineluctably into conformity with those contrasting traditions, just as the regional governments after 1970 would be remolded by these same social and cultural contexts: [Putnam p.

False Consciousness and What We Really Want

18 April 2019

Was listening to Thich Nhat Hanh talk on technology yesterday. He tells story of being at Google talking about how to develop technology to be weller and more mindful. He suggests the specific example of having a mindful bell every 15m. A smart young engineer objects that isn’t this telling people what they need? Don’t people themselves know best what they need? Immediately TNH responds: ah, but there are real needs and false needs (TODO: check his phrasing).