"Det svåraste är här att låta obestämdheten riktigt och oförfalskat komma till uttryck."

April 17, 2014

Daily Archives: April 24, 2012

Thiel on the confusion of capitalism and competition, difficult and valuable

Peter Thiel is turning out to be a very, very original thinker. In today’s New York Times David Brooks mentions a lecture he gave at Stanford on starting up a company. Thiel’s main point is subtle and incredibly interesting: he says that people are confused when they think capitalism is about competition. In fact, with perfect competition there is no profit and you are forced to reinvest all the money you make to stay in place. Capitalism is about doing something in a large market where there is very little competition, and thus making huge profits. And then he adds …continue reading

FuturICT – is this the approach to research we want in the EU?

The European Union has a research policy agenda that varies wildly. In one project, FuturICT, it has set out to examine the following, according to their website: The ultimate goal of the FuturICT flagship project is to understand and manage complex, global, socially interactive systems, with a focus on sustainability and resilience. Revealing the hidden laws and processes underlying societies probably constitutes the most pressing scientific grand challenge of our century and is equally important for the development of novel robust, trustworthy and adaptive information and communication technologies (ICT), based on socially inspired paradigms. Oooookay. That is pretty ambitious. Now, …continue reading

Beekeeping and the turn away from technology

At lunch, during the conference in Stockholm last week, I sat down with a conference attendee I have met a couple of times previously. She works on human rights issues and is deeply involved with the Internet, but she had arrived at the end of the road. She was taking courses in beekeeping, because she wanted to turn away from technology and do something “real” as she put it. Her issues with new technology were many, but foremost was the way our technology destroys time. Not time as a physical phenomenon, but experienced time. Our ability to concentrate on something …continue reading