(pictured above: the $100.000 bill, still the largest legal tender of the US - but one that can only be used for transactions between Federal Reserve Banks) Self-proclaimed objectivist philosopher Ayn Rand once wrote that the "trade by means of money is the code of men of good will". When putting these words in the … Continue reading Paper or plastic – does cash fuel crime?
A month ago I stumbled upon a spreadsheet with the counts for all patents issued in the US up until 2015. Looking at yearly evolutions I found that the numbers were oddly stable: states kept issuing patents at a constant rate, with relatively little fluctuation on a year to year basis. So that got me … Continue reading How patent laws gave up on innovation
They’ve had a weird appeal to us ever since written text had become accessible to the wider population. From people you hardly know sharing obscure motivational phrases on Instagram to the Economist' Espresso edition, quotes are thrown at us in all shapes and sizes in the hopes that they might appeal to our inner self … Continue reading Ranking up the world’s best quotes
By the time I started getting pimples I was pretty well acquainted with the Disney universe. I thought I knew most of what was out there, even though I wasn’t that big of a fan. So imagine my dismay in the late 2000s when I found a DVD with Bambi 2 on the cover, and … Continue reading The sequel awakens
As any smoker will tell you, smoking costs some serious money. Even if you don’t feel it full way due to cost spreading, if you look back at a life spent being a smoker and run the numbers you might surprise yourself with the things you went without and could have bought or experienced - … Continue reading Do poor people smoke more?
In late 2012 I was sent to a language seminar. The speaker was English linguist, academic, and author David Crystal; and I played photographer during his talk. It’s during that event that I first heard how at the current rate of language attrition (one language every two or three weeks was disappearing, by Crystal’s account), … Continue reading The Babel paradox
My own death will someday be part of someone’s paycheck. This brings me to a cynical and oddly pragmatic thought: all other things being equal, funeral homes will essentially never go out of business. With constant demand, constant supply should follow. Would this imply that there are places where such a business can be more … Continue reading A guide to funeral home startups
In 1992, roughly a year after the dissolution of the USSR, a now famous (at least among political science majors) Japanese-American named Francis Fukuyama published what at the time was a ground shaking piece of work. Titled ‘The End of History and the Last Man’, Fukuyama set out to explain how - now that the … Continue reading Life after the end of history
About a month ago I read a piece of news that mentioned Turkey dropping a constitutional clause which protected children from sexual abuse, and leafed through the ensuing panic of the internet as there were fears that no legislation would come in to fill the void created by the actions of the country’s Constitutional Court. … Continue reading The world as viewed by ages of consent
I look down on books of certain kinds and avoid them - no need in proving that to myself. But what about the books I’ve read during the years? I found myself wondering what my reading habits say about me. And the best measurable poke I had at my reading habits was my Goodreads account. … Continue reading What my reading habits say about me