I hope you missed me.
Post Apathy is back for March 2021 and I've got a backlog of interesting links to share with you. We haven't had a newsletter for January or Feburary as I've been occupied building something interesting. Post Apathy may also become a quarterly newsletter (as opposed to monthly) depending on how busy I get over the next few months, so watch this space.
The Latest from Post Apathy
A summary of my thoughts on the readings linked in this newsletter, I make the case for how crypto could usher in a new era of currency competition based on pre-modern principles of currency pluralism.
Seemingly random lone wolf attacks have a very certain and ancient cause: they are both a product of and accelerant of social disintegration. Lacking a society and proper upbringing, men are prone to what I call 'feralisation'.
Palantir is one of the most misunderstood business models in the market, so I sought to clarify it in this simple analysis.
This is a primary source translation of an essay by Jiang Shigong, one of China's foremost political theorists. Palladium offers a secondary source analysis of Jiang Shigong's work here. Shigong argues that empire is natural and provides a brief history of the evolution of Europe's global empires from the smaller mercantile kingdoms of Europe to modern day America. China is destined to complete the next stage of humanity's fate: universal empire. This is an interesting shift from the communist aversion to imperialism, but the more discerning among us already knew it was a ruse.
Dan Wang's annual letter focuses on developments in China and provides an apologetic stance, perhaps as an antidote to increasingly hawkish attitudes to China. Nevertheless, a very interesting "inside persective" on China.
Culture & Society
This is a very interesting analysis of power and society through the lens of one of my favourite shows, The Office (US). Alex compares the archetypes present in The Office to the 3-ladder class system of western society. Essentially, the various classes of western society go through different psychological states to deal with their class, making The Office both an extremely funny show and a fascinating encapsulation of western society on the set.
This essay is a simple restatement of the industrial conundrum: where do you go after industrialisation? Western societies' core social technology stacks were based around the Industrial Revolution, and now that social technology stack is losing steam and failing before full industrialisation. East Asian industrialisation is still in full swing, but is likely to face the same issue. Petty political squabbles between left and right, or even between the USA and China, are therefore smaller issues than the yawning abyss lying ahead of the entire world touched by industrialisation: decay, and eventually collapse of complex civilisation.
There is no "return" scenario here; we've mostly forgotten and permanently lost the social technologies for agricultural civilisation. Our only hope then, if Samo has correctly prophecied our greatest challenge yet, is through the storm. The most important civilisation-saving missions are not in the realms of material technology and "innovation", or markets and finance, but in the areas of social technology: new (and better) patterns of society conducive to production, law, governance, and moral order.
Just over two years' after their inaugural essay and launch, Palladium restates its mission to build a new paradigm of governance. Engaging in political engineering, restarting industrial progress, and terraforming the Earth to save the environment are all on the agenda.
These two essays offer alternative perspectives on the staying power of the US dollar. Lyn argues that there are already cracks in the seams of the hegemony of the US dollar, while Byrne makes the case for the dollar's long-lasting impact even after American military and political power is eroded.
Science & Technology
Attempting to convince people to believe in something that doesn't yet is harder than creating that actual thing. Often this is because people themselves struggle to imagine the unimaginable; more often than not, they just think you're crazy. If the history of technology shows anything, it is the crazy people on the edge of tomorrow that deliver most of our innovation.
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