Towards a Unified Theory of Power

Towards a Unified Theory of Power Are political power and physical power the same thing? Or are they close enough that we can draw equivalence relationships between the two of them? Physical power is measured in terms of “Energy per unit of time.” Almost all of physics is describing systems in terms of energy and […]

Belief as an Action

I am writing this paragraph, but I do not believe that I am writing it.  Believing would get in the way of writing. Thus, I’m writing, and not believing.  I try to do one thing a time. I also try to minimize the time and energy I spend doing various things – like browsing the internet, frowning, […]

Context as a replacement for “self”

A fugue on symbols, consciousness, zen, choices, and enlightenment People are happier when they think less about themselves. In this essay I want to propose a computational reason for that difference. In Godel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid, author Douglass Hofstadter describes a process where a brain mirrors the external world, and gradually starts […]

Following The Rules

The last two cars we’d sent into this damn neighborhood on drug busts both had “unexpected issues.” Both times, the same story — the cruiser stops at a stoplight, and then — Bam! — it just turns off. The thing won’t start up again. We call a tow truck, and wait for a ride. “We’ll serve that warrant later,” we told […]

Segregated Witness or Bitcoin Unlimited? Doesn’t matter.

The real battle isn’t among us — it’s between the defenders of the old, dying way, and a newer, better way. Like many of you, I’m a bitcoin early adopter. I bought into the idea in 2010 because I saw how broken and corrupted our financial system was. Like many of you, I’d hoped that we’d see our […]

Infrequently Asked Questions

These questions are rarely asked, which is unfortunate. I have gathered their answers here, for your edification. Q. If I am navigating a high-dimensional space, how do I avoid getting lost? A. Move slowly and observe as much as possible. Q. Do I currently believe anything that is false? A. Yes. Almost certainly. It would be very […]

Energy, Emotion, and Capital

Consider the economy as software governing a chemical reaction. Note: Previously, I wrote about one way I look at money: as a mathematical language. Because people found that essay interesting, I thought I’d write another in the same vein: let’s look at the economy as a process of energy, as if it were a chemical […]