“What is AI?”

An interesting thing about this question is that it is likely, if you pose it to 100 people, that you will get more than 100 answers. “It’s kind of like machine learning…but it’s also possibly weaponisable…and lots of companies use it for data collection…in 10 years it will be telling us what to do,” says our imaginary interlocutor. We can see that wild flights of the animation, leftover millennial dread, a consultant’s ear for the buzzword, and technochauvinism have variously informed their response.

More interesting still, at least so far as would tell us something about the…


It gives great, if rather quicksilver, insight into the tenor of our times that the statement “The IT Revolution has failed to produce meaningful economic benefits,” seems not only absurd but self-evidently absurd. The great totems of the digital millennium are not just universally recognised for their valuation, for their notoriety; they are so vastly influential that they have become the period itself.

From schools of economic thought to dramatic traditions, our times are primarily defined by the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, stories that are no more beholden to fact than they are insensible to them. Our particular…


Or “Viewing Beyond Perspective”

Preface

i. Miyazaki and Takahata

ii. Ghibli, Disney and Narrative

iii. The Ghibli Recipe

iv. Ghibli and the Self

v. You’ve Got Balls

vi. The Green Blood of Hayao Miyazaki

vii. The Great Beyond

In the mid-1970s, the man who may be the most eminent Japanese animator of the 20th and early 21st centuries decided to go on a trip — well, it’s truer to say that the man who would become perhaps the most eminent Japanese animator of those periods decided to go on a trip.

When Hayao Miyazaki boarded a flight to Europe around 1974 or ’75, he…


Trialectic — a debate format between three champions designed to test their ability to develop their knowledge through exposure to each other and the audience, as well as maximise the audience’s learning opportunities on a given motion.

Context

At my old outlet Wonk Bridge, I was preparing for a debate on the subject of “Good faith” and “Bad faith” as possible modes of approach to improving discourse and thought in the Early Digital age. This debate was to take place between two of Wonk Bridge’s most notable voices, Oliver Cox and Sebastian Vogelpoel. …


Edward Hopper, Two Comedians (1966). Image courtesy of Sotheby’s.

It is ironic that the United States looks to the awards made possible by the endowment of Joseph Pulitzer for their standard of excellence in journalism (and, indeed, beyond journalism), given that at the height of the war between Pulitzer’s New York World and William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal in 1895–98, the two papers could be found competing over which of the two of them could most quickly drive context, research standard, accuracy of portrayal, balance and reason — all of the things that make reporting worthy and vital — out of the news cycle to make room for…


Dominic Cummings reached near the apex of British politics with ambitions of building a ‘meritocratic technopolis’. Why did these dreams implode so spectacularly? Could they ever have been fulfilled?

A few weeks ago, the most high-profile special adviser in British government left office, carrying ARPA, the superforecaster, Napoleon’s retreat from Russia, Mistah Kurtz, Otto von Bismarck, the battlements of Barnard Castle, and a coterie of visionary technologists in his cardboard box.

While Dominic Cummings’ unprecedented reign in the shadow of Britain’s highest office may have ended in a notional failure — though Cummings previously described firings such as his, and the ostensible disgrace(s) that surrounded it, as part of the traditional ceremony of a figure in government, and one which is generally greeted by its recipient without so much…


Or “Two Spirits of Non-Conformity in the Machine”

‘Ivor and Oliver’, photo by Lucy Cox, editing by Wonk Bridge

There is no guarantee that exceptional deeds, even a lifetime of them, will necessarily command acclaim. That innumerable, unknowable feats of exception are attained daily throughout the world, under modest circumstances, awaiting our discovery and otherwise doomed to obscurity, is a truth that may both harness us to the most implacable anxiety, and present to us a store of ever-self-renewing hope as to the essential value of our actions.

It is for this reason that the biography of the ordinary person, as yet unacclaimed, is the most neglected of all the literary genres — for the slightest pursuit of it…


It must be the soft prejudice that goes most without saying in the worlds of technology and start-up entrepreneurialism — that it’s a young person’s business. From the nested mythologies of our most pre-eminent social network and its founders, to the whole practice’s gruelling and often family-unfriendly pursuit of the gains of unsociable working hours, — if there’s one thing you’re less likely to find front-and-centre in the diorama of startup idealism than a defaced California Republic flag or a tablet of consequentialist ethics, it’s people over 50 (or much over 40, for that matter).

There is a generational factor…


Or ‘A Census of a Better World’

Image from AutCraft on Twitter

There will be those of you who have begun your journey through this article — a journey predestined for a violent end, I’m afraid — with a certain feeling of demiverachtung; “little contempt”, the sentiment many feel when they have begun reading an online article in spite of, or indeed because of, the fact that they are fairly sure that its subject, or one aspect of its subject, is to some degree beneath them. “What a choice of topic focus”, perhaps you scoffed…

…Minecraft. And relative to such a serious topic as autism”

For those of you to whom…


Or ‘When Big Companies Steal Concepts from Small Companies, and How They Get Away with It’

A 5-minuter from Wonk Bridge

It was with the Sherman antitrust act of 1890 that the United States first sought to impose its anti-regal approach to governance upon big business. As its namesake Senator John Sherman said, “If we will not endure a king as a political power we should not endure a king over the production, transportation, and sale of any of the necessaries of life.”

It did not represent the country’s first attempts at legal restraint over monopoly formation or monopolistic practice. Milder regulations and restrictions had existed in international common law since at least Darcy vs. Allin

Max Gorynski

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