Mutiny of the Soul, Revisited

Posted on Mar 14, 2016
Mutiny of the Soul, Revisited

Over the years, I’ve probably received more mail about Mutiny of the Soul than any other essay I’ve written. The idea of the article has been hugely validating for many readers: that depression, ADHD, anxiety, etc. aren’t chemical malfunctions of the brain, nor spiritual malfunctions of the mind; rather, they are forms of legitimate rebellion […]

The Need for Venture Science

Posted on Aug 27, 2015
The Need for Venture Science

A Chinese translation of this essay can be found here. I just spent several hours down a rabbit hole. The topic was the “electric universe,” an unconventional cosmological theory that emphasizes electromagnetism rather than gravity as the primary structuring force of the universe. It offers alternative explanations of redshift, cosmic background radiation, cosmogenesis, star formation, […]

TED: A Choice Point

Posted on Apr 11, 2013
TED: A Choice Point

Originally, the thesis of this essay was going to be that TED, contrary to its reputation for promoting innovative ideas, excludes ideas that are truly radical or disruptive, contributing instead to a slickly packaged narrative of “Gee whiz, thanks to these nifty ideas, the world is getting better all the time.” TED is, I thought, […]

Genetically Modifying and Patenting Seeds isn’t the Answer

Posted on Oct 9, 2012
Genetically Modifying and Patenting Seeds isn’t the Answer

A Croatian translation of this article can be found here:   The great historian Lewis Mumford once described a patent as “a device that enables one man to claim special financial rewards for being the last link in the complicated social process that produced the invention”. He was pointing out that we do not produce […]

The Sojourn of Science

Posted on Oct 7, 2009
The Sojourn of Science

This essay is an excerpt from The Ascent of Humanity. Scientific thought is essentially power thought—the sort of thought that is to say whose purpose, conscious or unconscious, is to give power to its possessor. —Bertrand Russell At its purest, the purpose of science is to better understand the world; or, we could say, it […]

From Opinion to Belief to Knowing

Posted on Dec 8, 2005
From Opinion to Belief to Knowing

It all started when I was living in Taiwan, 21 years old, having just graduated from Yale with a degree in mathematics and philosophy. Of course I did what most people do with such a degree—I got a job in a bar. One day on my way to work I attempted to kick-start my motorcycle. […]

The Multicellular Metahuman

Posted on Nov 9, 2005
The Multicellular Metahuman

Given the ruination of our civilization’s millennia-old program of control, some people despair of any solution but to undo the entire history of technology—an option that entails its own despair, as a return to the Stone Age would mean the demise of some 99.8% of the world’s population. Moreover, to advocate a return to the […]

Security and Fate

Posted on Dec 9, 2004
Security and Fate

You may have noticed a near-universal compulsion in our society to achieve “financial security,” which, conventionally, we might see as an extension of the biological survival instinct. Of course, as we all know, the basic need for food and shelter is met with very little money, hinting that perhaps financial security might be a surrogate […]