World, life and meaning

 “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.”


This is my fox section, in which I explore other things beyond my hedgehog focus on technology.

World. I love history, both ancient history and news, which are history as it is being made. There is a lot to learn from what happened and what mistakes and successes we manage to repeat. It is especially fascinating for me how we are unable to appreciate the significance of events as they happen, or predict with any reliability. Some thoughts on random subjects:

  • My fears when Brexit and Trump happened – we seem to have avoided the worst of it, and Biden seems bent on doing the right things to address inequality and populism.
  • A piece on my frustration with Europe which I think should be a beacon to show the rest of the world where to go.
  • Another piece on Europe and how it is reclaiming its digital sovereignty
  • How crypto could change competition between states
  • What we should have done with COVID in May. Spoiler alert – what Asia has been doing successfully since February. Of course, we have prefered to do it without technology
  • Some thoughts on the turbulent 2020s, the most interesting decade ever to live through as 2020 has shown. We will see if it is also the best as I hope

Inequality. With the exception of climate change, inequality is undoubtedly the biggest challenge we are facing as a society. Technology is accelerating the problem with jobs vanishing to automation. Technology can also be the solution given the transformed productivity, jobs that outrun robots and Modern Monetary Theory.

Health. Over the years I have learnt some lessons on personal health. Most I owe to my wife, Covadonga. Nutrition, sleep, walking, exercise, yoga, abandoning caffeine and other stimulants, limiting alcohol, limiting screens, spending time with your loved ones, intellectually stimulating activities, believing in something… The recipe is surprisingly simple and timeless. It works, and now there is even science to back it up. The boost of energy and mood is noticeable, and hopefully it can keep you fit longer to capture the benefits of technology.

Productivity. Over the years I have developed personal productivity tricks to move faster. I have also thought long and hard about the impact of technological change on life priorities. My dream is an app that helps us do our best in our health, productivity and personal priorities. Someone build it fast!

Spirituality and meaning. I had always been a convinced atheist, even if the only rationally defensible position is agnosticism. Time, life and some books had made me aware of the importance of meaning and purpose. Understanding the accelerating complexity of evolution, now in its technological phase has made me think. This is creating anxiety, especially as brains and neurons start to fall behind transistors in some dimensions (but not all!). Maybe we have understood divinity the wrong way around, as the origin rather than the destination. After all the godhead is ultimatitely Truth, and technology can bring us closer to truth.