Trucks, Tubes, and Truth
Jun 21, 2022
I am carrying a bucket of human waste. Two buckets, actually. I’m visiting an off-grid cabin in an Acadian forest where the vegetable garden is nourished by a humanure composting system. It’s my turn to take out the, uh, compost. Every visit to this forest is an opportunity to get away from Twitter, away from the noise of the city, and enjoy a simpler life as a temporary monastic hobo.
Blockchain Without the Crypto
Nov 11, 2021
Driving down the #9 highway in Southeast Saskatchewan yesterday, I giggled in surprise when I noticed a small piece of Internet lodged in a canola field. I saw the unmistakeable orange logo as we approached the unincorporated hamlet of Görlitz (population unknown) from the north. Amid the other billboards for bulk fertilizer and local honey was a painted plywood sign: Bitcoin ATM now available!
Just what Görlitz needs. I’m not sure if humanity has reached peak cryptocurrency yet but we are definitely on our way.
The Strength of the Record
Mar 28, 2021
The computer is a curious gadget. It is one of few human inventions which can exist purely – yet accurately – in the imagination. Prior to the existence of a real computing machine, mathematicians could hypothesize how it might behave. They even understood the unbounded, fractal potential of computers: If human beings have machines for computation we also have the atom of computation and we can recombine these atoms to great effect.
Ethical Software For Everyone
Nov 28, 2019
Can I interest you in a nutrition label?
Ethics! We all have a few. Every day, my personal ethics evolve in varying degrees. It seemed harmless to speak loudly and abrasively in my early twenties — a speech full of arbitrary and contrary words. Who was I hurting? Now I know. The increments of personal ethics evolution are slow and sometimes the work takes decades. Crossing the bridge of intoxicants, for example.
Nov 20, 2019
The inevitable advent of जादूगरों का गाँव.
“Land in Canada costs how much?” Ragul queries me a second time. His eyes are wide and I can tell he’s asking me to confirm the cost of property in Eastern Canada because half of him doesn’t believe it.
“Yeah, I know,” I say, “$23,000 CAD for 20–30 acres is…” I pull out my phone and start punching the forex conversion into the search box but he gives me the answer off the top of his head before I can finish.
Compassion For Donald
Aug 28, 2019
The 2019 Canadian federal election is over. I doubt anyone feels very good about it. Not because a minority government threatens to immobilize the Canadian government. I mean, there is that. But the suffocating air of this election was far less tangible, far less quantifiable, than counted ballots. The outmoded left-right political spectrum is gasping for breath through a death rattle and, for those of us who plan to be here on the far side, it’s disgusting to watch.
I started meditating... now what?
Aug 21, 2019
Two weeks ago, a friend struck up a conversation with me about his meditation practice. His query was:
Hi Steve, I started meditating like a month ago. Nothing fancy, just sitting down and observing my breath. I did it because my anxiety was really, really bad and I couldn’t sleep at all most nights. It was horrible. At first the meditation made no difference. But then things started improving. Now after a month, I can get reasonable sleep on most days, and really good sleep once in a while And even on days I don’t sleep, my anxiety is not as bad as it used to be.
Mar 01, 2019
How often do we experience real silence?
Universal Spaces was written out of necessity. There is nothing profound about the idea of universal spaces — spaces without any form of exceptional availability — but no preexisting terminology satisfies the requirement of defining spaces only in terms of that quality. Universal spaces require an identity, something we can point to when we presuppose them as a superset of Silent Spaces.
Feb 05, 2019
Yesterday we visited Chennai’s Theosophical Society. Prior to this visit I knew little of Theosophy and nothing about the space. The Society is staggering in size. Bountiful gardens spread across 260 acres. Although it is dwarfed by large city parks like Central Park (850 acres) in New York and Stanley Park (1000 acres) in Vancouver, the Theosophical Society Gardens have an even more surprising quality: they are privately owned.
Think what we might about the Society’s belief systems, what became clear on our journey back home from an hour of meditation in the gardens was that they constitute an example of an idea Siggu has tossed around for a while: Universal Spaces.
India Has A Three-Body Problem
Feb 01, 2019
When I moved to Bangalore six years ago, I had no interest in India’s garbage management problem. I moved here to build a software company, not to muck about with garbage bins. But every time I would fly between the subcontinent and the Americas, I would find relief on my home continent and exhaustion on my continent of immigration. Living in a giant garbage heap is mentally taxing. Every moment spent outdoors is either an angsty mental rundown of how I might help, complete with acute feelings of powerlessness, or searching for someone to blame (my brain’s lazy personal favourite is a generic and completely unhelpful “the middle class”).