Goals and solution spaces (Mental models XII)

The way you formulate your problem at least weakly determines your solution space. Let’s take a simple example. In Sweden, we have set a goal to have zero deaths in traffic every year. This is proudly referred to as a zero-vision, and is the overarching narrative around how we think about traffic safety. Sweden has a low rate of traffic deaths compared with many other … Continue reading Goals and solution spaces (Mental models XII)

Planning and progress

Tesla has been building factories, and building them fast. Whenever we see a process speeding up, our natural inclination is to believe that it has to do with a change in technology – but in a recent interesting analysis professor Lars Stehn (in Swedish) suggests that there is no such technology at work here. What instead is driving the acceleration, he suggests, is really thorough … Continue reading Planning and progress

A note on “What Tech Calls Thinking” by Adrian Daub

Adrian Daub’s book on Silicon Valley thinking is intended as a criticism of the ideas that underpin the Silicon Valley-ideology, if there is one. This in itself is a worthwhile project, and teasing out the intellectual underpinnings of different spheres in society is in itself a good form of critical philosophy. It is fair to say that Daub is writing in the tradition of Jacques … Continue reading A note on “What Tech Calls Thinking” by Adrian Daub

Pew Research on Americans’ attitudes to China

In a newly published survey, the Pew Research Institute is looking into how Americans view China. The outcome at first glance seems unsurprising: Americans are increasingly skeptical of China, and are concerned about China across a number of different dimensions. But when you look more closely at the numbers you cannot but notice something interesting, and it has to do with what kind of concern … Continue reading Pew Research on Americans’ attitudes to China

The reception of Plato in China

Enjoyed this episode of Mindscape on my lunch walk today. Strongly recommended. One of the items they discuss is how Plato is received in China and how the Chinese scholars have read Plato’s Republic. There is an interesting bit about how the Noble Lie in Plato should be understood – since it seems deeply self-defeating to reveal that your ideal plan for a state rests … Continue reading The reception of Plato in China

Opening up subscriptions for newsletter for a bit

Edit 21.2: Thank you for the kind interest. I have no shifted over to by invitation only again, as not to have the community grow to larger or too fast. I really want feedback and ideas and not just maximize the number of readers. I have been running a newsletter in parallel to this blog for 8 weeks now. This is another part of my … Continue reading Opening up subscriptions for newsletter for a bit

In defense of technology lawyers or the mystery of leaving notes

Noam Bardin just wrote an interesting note on leaving Google. As the founder of Waze Bardin is without a doubt a brilliant entrepreneur and a great thinker. He is also by many metrics a long-time googler, with 7 years under his belt. His leaving note, however, does leave me feeling exasperated. Bardin details the story of the small start-up being absorbed by the mothership, slowly … Continue reading In defense of technology lawyers or the mystery of leaving notes