Bananas, Sex and Snowflakes


New Medium Essay. Not very Sci-Fi this one. But I needed to get it out of my head:

“The problem with monoculture is that when pathogens — parasites or predators — find a way to exploit one individual, they will have created a successful strategy to exploit all the others too. This is not a hypothetical intellectual curio, banana plantations worldwide are currently under siege from Fusarium oxysporum, ‘Panama Disease’.

This is why we go to the trouble of having sex…”

Read the rest…

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!

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/06/opinion/abolish-billionaires-tax.html
https://eand.co/young-people-are-giving-on-capitalism-because-capitalism-failed-young-people-70b4f0ab3de