The First Direct Image of a Black Hole!

This is it! The first actual image of a monster black hole!

The ‘hole is the black iris embedded in its accretion disc of glowing gas. The brighter area at the bottom is an effect of the matter orbiting the event horizon at close to the speed of light. The lower-left portion is moving towards us, so appears brighter; while in the upper-right is moving away, and so we see it dimmer.


…and this is how it would look up close!

Super-computer Simulation of the M87 Black Hole


This image is a result of a simulation run before the actual photograph of the M87 Black-hole was captured. We know this must be close to what the  ‘hole would look like because when the simulation is blurred, as if by 53 Million light-years of intervening space, it looks almost identical to the actual photo!

Simulated blurring of simulated Black Hole


I am flabbergasted, especially when you realise that the relative size of the entire image is the same as a doughnut left on the surface of the Moon!

Truly amazing stuff! True life Sci-Fi!! I love it! 🙂


A very comprehensive article here giving much more insight.

Update: This is a really nice video which explains why the Black Hole photo looks like a top down view of a doughnut. It had bothered me that we seemed to be looking directly into the ‘hole. “How to Understand the Image of a Black Hole”

Update 2: The image is actually from the Black-hole at the center of the galaxy M87, scientists are still processing the data on Sagittarius A*

The Magic Money Tree

‘Modern Monetary Theory’ is a startling paradigm shift which seems to be gathering some influential followers. It’s a favorite of new radicals like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Jeremy Corbyn (who, I guess is actually an old radical, in that he is old, and also an OG-radical from the ’80s.)

See here, and here (I don’t usually link Business Insider stories, because they have always felt a bit ‘click-baity’, but the bullets here are pretty succinct)

Sounds like with the money taps on full power, wealth will be continuously evaporating and only those with the most IQ at their disposal (mostly synthetic) will be able to continuously resupply. I suppose if with UBI we have a floor that stops the poor falling too low, then this would be a seething, volatile, boiling layer of potential breakouts making end-game runs to off-planet style mega-wealth…

I like terrestrial real estate, as a long-term investment; the concept of land ownership goes further back than money, 6K BC vs 600 BC (coins), so it might survive a deeper peeling back of social niceties post-catastrophic collapse. I also see the economy needing stable reserves of value other than Bitcoin to regulate the volatility of all that cash perpetually transpiring up, and sublimating off, the Magic Money Tree.

Time’s up for the Plutocrats?

Cartoon by:  MATT WUERKER


If you’ve read my books, you will know one of the themes is wealth-inequality and the future of our society. The bad guys are the Old Guard—privileged plutocrats; while the good guys are fresh young anarchist privileged plutocrats… plus a bunch of hackers, dolphins and rogue AIs.

I started writing the series in 2008 against the backdrop of what felt like a significant financial collapse and the stirrings of a grass-roots response.

The time felt ripe then. The 99%, Occupy Wall Street movement seemed to have identified the source of the problem… but then, somehow, we got distracted by political correctness and divided for a decade… I blame plutocrat-puppeted social media troll-farms sponsored by the 1%, but that’s another book…

I am not against extreme wealth. I think striving for your own Lamborghini or Private Island is a good motivator for the hyper-talented. But the people at the bottom need to live a dignified life too.

We should always try to create a world, where, if the cards were dealt differently, we would still be comfortable at the bottom. This is just smart. You never know when you or your children might fall on hard times.

I live in Switzerland, and reducing poverty is one of the stated goals of our social-security system. Switzerland is not short on Billionaires, and our tax rate is very bearable, but we do have a wealth tax and a high minimum wage. This pays for a system that ensures that even the most hard up citizens will be provided education, healthcare, food and a roof over their heads.

The choice is pretty simple:


Some pieces I have read recently that make the optimist in me hope there is a new glimmering of awareness!