Howard Bloom’s 555-page thesis, though superficially tedious, tries to answer one beguilingly simple question: How does a godless cosmos create itself? Yes, Bloom uses “godless”, but neither the book nor this article is not a treatise on atheism. A better way to phrase the question is: How is there something rather than nothing? What are the laws that govern the creation of everything? Are they infinitely as complex as the products of the Universe? Or are they surprisingly simple?

1. Repetition

Long story short, Bloom thinks that the underlying nature of reality is very simple and fundamental. This is consistent with the…

Based on Nassim Taleb’s INCERTO series

Nicholas Nassim Taleb is a generationally defining intellectual. These are people whose brilliant theses capture the zeitgeist of an age. For example, existentialism (Satre, Heidegger) defined the twentieth-century because the horrors of the Great Wars forced us to question what it means to be a decent human being.

Taleb comes in the Age of Acceleration where profit begets profit and loss begets loss, bringing about a profound state of inequality. Looking up, we see only the skies in all its majesty. We revere “self-made billionaires” and fall into cult worship of their lifestyles. Bill Gates wakes up at 4 a.m…

Future of Life Institute

That the advent of artificial intelligence and robots (AI’s physical embodiment) is going to change everything is probably somewhat of an unhelpful, vague overstatement. Unfortunately, statements as such are littered throughout mainstream discourse.

How exactly are they going to change the way we do things, but more importantly, the way we think about things, and, even more importantly, the way we think about people?

The impreciseness of said debate inspired this article. Its aim is to introduce the legal concept of a ‘person’ and how artificially intelligent robots fit into the picture. No doubt, some parts of the discussion will…

His Cosmos and its stunning worldview

According to Wikipedia, Carl Sagan was an American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist and astrobiologist. As a scientist, Sagan is best known for his work in the Search for Extraterrestrial Life (SETI) and his contribution to the Voyager Golden Record — a time capsule launched into space, intended for aliens or future humans, containing the sounds and images representative of life here on Earth.

But Sagan wasn’t simply a dull lab coat. He was an ambassador for science, an ambassador for humanity, even. …

A meditation

Its age old advice that the ‘bottling up of feelings’ can never be a good thing.

So the narrative goes, the subjugation of one’s feelings does not make it go away. Rather, they are stored in some dark, oft-overlooked crevice in your broken heart; lurking, waiting for that opportunity to rupture the fleshy seams that hold this fragile organ together. The outpouring of all this deeply repressed negativity causes you to turn into a frizzled-hair psychopath; the kind that inspire Criminal Minds. Maybe you’d become a serial killer, the unsub, targeting little blonde kids with some perverted M.O., …

100 years of Reason and Progress made easy

Weimar’s Courtyard of the Muses

The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, the Century of Philosophy. Take your pick from any of these semi-snobbish string of words. They all refer largely to the late 17th/18th century, from approximately 1685–1815.

There are no precise dates that one can emphatically deem to be ‘the Enlightenment’. Historical events like WW1 or the Peloponnesian War generally have well-defined beginnings and resolutions because they are actual, physical episodes that have reverberations in their corresponding day and age.

The Enlightenment is a different sort of fish. …

Socrates — Wikipedia

Born in Alopeke to a stonemason and a midwife, Σωκρατης (Sokrates, aka Socrates) was, by conventional measures, an unremarkable man. According to his student Plato, Socrates was ugly, unkempt and unhygienic. He possessed a short and stocky frame with bulging eyes, almost never bathed and was smelly all the time.

Socrates was the living antithesis of the Classic’s obsession with confidence, poise, elan, flair and sophistication. Look no further than the majestic busts of Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and statues of Pompey, or the powerful rhetoric of Cicero for evidence.

This makes Socrates’ fame and enduring legacy all the…

They will tell you many things. The usuals. “It’s all right! There’s always next time…” “It’s not your fault! The opponent was just too good…”, “Failure is the first step to success.”…

Your friends/family probably meant well. No, they did. They did mean well. But none of those wearied statements will ever patch the emptiness in your heart after defeat. It never has. It never will. You know it, I know it.

Remember, you were once them. You too, came to support your bestie as his big game. You too, were there on your sister’s result day. You too, offered…

Using ancient Eastern philosophy

This article begins with an important question: How is there not pandemonium in China today?

The question rings at the back of my mind every time another dismayed Western reporter examines another new ‘totalitarian’ measure that President Xi’s CCP (Communist Party of China) took, bringing China one step closer toward Orwell’s 1984 dystopia.

I quote Elizabeth Economy, writing for Foreign Affairs (Is Democracy Dying?: A Global Report 2018) “But Xi quickly moved to centralise political authority in his own hands…And he has used an anti-corruption campaign to root out not just self-serving officials but also his political enemies…Then came the…

I used to work in the Navy. On the fifty-first anniversary of our Navy’s genesis, a recorded speech from the Chief of Navy himself was promulgated within the organisation. Being the obedient sailors we are, the men of my Squadron gathered in the Unit’s conference room and the speech was screened. It played for about an hour.

After the showing, we were asked to reflect on the ideas that our Chief had brought up in his address. …

Cher Yi Tan

I like learning about the past, thinking about the present, and dreaming about the future. 21, law student at Cambridge.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store