Video Games Hold the Secret of Life, the Universe, and Everything

While Forrest Gump may have seen life as a box of chocolates, in reality it’s more like a big fucking bucket of crabs:

Bucket of Crabs

We live in a world full of crabs, err, people, most of whom are perfectly comfortable, or at least sufficiently complacent, chilling inside the bucket.

The world seems simple. Constrained. You can clearly see the limits of “reality”.

But what you see, like the people in Plato’s Cave, is just an illusion.

And when some curious, rebellious motherfucker comes along and says things like “what’s beyond the bucket?” and maybe “let’s go take a peek”, all those other comfortable/scared crabs are like “fuck you get back down here” and “don’t rock the bucket bitch, you’re making us look bad”.

Fucking people, err, crabs.

As Naval Ravikant so eloquently stated, “Life is a single player game”.

Continue reading…

Why Things Are the Way They Are

Albert Einstein is famous for many reasons, and left behind many memorable quotes about all manner of intelligent subjects. That said, my favorite quote of his, by far, is this. “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the universe.”

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of this quote. Walking down the street. Driving. Reading posts on Facebook or Twitter. Wars, mass shootings, moronic politics. Observing people, anywhere, it is constantly obvious…

Humans are incredibly fucking STUPID.

And yet…we’re also creative, and in many ways truly brilliant. No other species on our planet has, or is even remotely capable of, accomplishing what we’ve accomplished. And our future potential is virtually unlimited.

But herein lies the problem, this juxtaposition of stupidity and brilliance. Continue reading…

How to be Happy in 15 Clear Steps

HappyAhh, “How to be happy”, the age old question.

Who among us doesn’t want to be happier? I know I do!

According to psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky, happiness comes down to roughly 50% genetics, 40% choices, and 10% circumstances. If this is correct, that means you only really control 40-50% of the factors influencing your happiness…at best.

But the bit you control can be hugely impactful, and to some degree you may be able to affect the genetic component by tweaking your brain chemistry in various ways. Perhaps in the future you’ll even be able to tweak your happiness genes, but I digress.

Along these lines, I think it’s important to point out that “Happy” is simply a balanced brain chemical cocktail: dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, and oxytocin.

“Sad” is an excess of cortisol, glucocorticoids, and a lack of happy chemicals. Sad could also involve an excess of adrenaline or norepinephrine, though in the right situations there’s nothing wrong with those chemicals. Again, it’s all about balance. Continue reading…

Millions of Jobs Are Going Away, But Universal Basic Income Isn’t the Answer

Jobs Lost Universal Basic Income

The idea behind universal basic income (UBI), in which one’s government would provide every citizen in a country with a set amount of cash each month, is thought by some to be a potential panacea to our global inequality and under/unemployment woes.

But to many others the idea is ludicrous and utterly unsustainable. So which is it?

Some countries and cities have run or are running pilot tests, and while it’s still quite early, it seems unlikely that UBI is going to work exactly as planned. Of course, it’s not that UBI isn’t helpful or beneficial to the people receiving it…it is, more or less across the board.

Rather, it’s the seemingly insurmountable hurdle of figuring out how to make UBI happen, effectively and sustainably for everyone over the long-term (particularly in well developed countries), without breaking the bank or collapsing consumption driven economies.

For better or worse, the idea of UBI has been gaining traction rapidly in the minds of the people in recent years.

Why? Automation. And fear. Continue reading…