A saying

I feel like sharing some old wisdom from my favorite texts. This one is from Hávamál, the Sayings of the High One (meaning Odin). First the Old Norse original: Ósviðr maðr vakir um allar nætr ok hyggr at hvívetna þá er móðr er at morni kømr alt er vil sem var. And the English translation: The unwise man is awake all night and thinks of all sorts of things then he is Continue Reading

The future is electric

Back in 1991 I worked at McKinsey & Co, a management consultancy. Because of my working class background (or perhaps my engineering background) I was most of the time assigned to projects at industrial production sites far away from both my office and my home. When I occasionally got back to the office the new hire sitting at my desk would ask me if I was a new hire. The same year Continue Reading

Scrap the Safe Drinking Water Act!

New York Times reports: “The Trump administration announced on Monday that it would take formal steps to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature policy to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.” There are several other laws that probably “destroy American jobs” and that might as well be scrapped while at it: The pesky Litter Prevention acts found today in all states. Why should you have to use trashcans when there is a Continue Reading

On race and gender, part III

In an earlier post I wrote about the useless concepts of gender and race, for instance as the basis for affirmative action. It seems that at least some people in the US agree with me. The latest Economist has an article on the controversy regarding affirmative action at American universities. It goes on the suggest: Perhaps the most promising is the idea – most forcefully advanced by Richard Kahlenberg of the Century Continue Reading

Guess who said this?

You know, a lot of people say — they say, well, but the United States is large. And then you call places like Malaysia, Indonesia, and you say, you know, how many people do you have? And it’s pretty amazing how many people they have. This and 44 other pieces of wisdom can be found here at CNN.

Losing old friends is sad

I have probably seen every episode of The Monty Python Flying Circus. My teenage room was decorated with posters of an androgynous David Bowie. My turntable played Elton John, Nazareth and Genesis. As a kid I read all of Enid Blyton’s books. Culture from the UK was a big part of my early years. I was a big fan of British humor. Before last summer the UK also used to be Sweden’s Continue Reading

Social and instrumental normativity

I’m reading Daniel Dennet’s From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds. A passage on page 40 is perhaps more timely and urgent that the author would have imagined at the time of writing. It’s about understanding the reasons for other people holding certain beliefs or acting in a particular way. A couple of quotes from the book: Those who cannot explain themselves or cannot be moved by the reasons Continue Reading

Surrounded by idiots?

Sigmund says Sigmund Freud said: Bevor Sie bei sich selbst eine schwere Depression oder Antriebsschwäche diagnostizieren, stellen Sie sicher, dass Sie nicht komplett von Arschlöchern umgeben sind. In a somewhat more politically correct English: Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by idiots. This recent article in The Guardian looks at the topic of my previous post from a slightly Continue Reading

Four Yorkshiremen

The older I’ve got and the more I have learned about life, the more I have come to realize that I was borne at a very fortuitous time. (What I’m going to write will sound a bit like Four Yorkshiremen but so be it.) I spent my childhood in post-war Finland living on a small farm (we did have a floor and no holes in the roof though). I was about four Continue Reading