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Deface the Currency, by Samuel Alexander

Diogenes of Sinope was a Greek philosopher who lived a life of radical simplicity some 2,300 years ago. While other philosophers spent their time in discussion, Diogenes turned his life into a kind of subversive performance art. He would walk backwards, heckle other philosophers, and lived in a clay wine barrel with almost no possessions. […]

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The Happiness Industry, by William Davies

You don’t have to explore too far into the topics of consumerism or postgrowth economics before you bump into happiness metrics. It’s a popular theme, pointing out that happiness levels have been more or less the same for decades, despite a doubling of income and rising consumption. That has led some people to call for […]

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Our small vertical world

The earth is so vast, how could human activity possibly damage it? That’s a sentiment I hear from time to time, usually in the local paper or on the radio, occasionally from friends. Isn’t it a bit arrogant to think that we little humans can affect a whole planet? I heard an argument along these […]

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Doing Good Better, by William MacAskill

I’ve written a little bit about the Effective Altruism (EA) movement. For ordinary people who want to make a difference with their time and money, it’s one of the most useful ideas out there. If you’re such a person and haven’t come across it, I hope to convince you to look into it. The concept […]

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the glass cage

The Glass Cage, by Nicholas Carr

A couple of years ago I read The Shallows, a fascinating book on how the internet is changing the way we think. It was written by Nicholas Carr, and he has followed it up with a book about automation. In many ways it covers similar ground. Technology is not neutral, he argues. It empowers and […]

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prisoners of geography

Book review: Prisoners of Geography, by Tim Marshall

Geography has always shaped politics, determining where borders fall, where empires expand and where their ambitions stop. Perhaps it was more obvious in the past, and one might think that it is less important in an age of global connections, the internet and drone warfare. But here is journalist and author Tim Marshall to explain […]

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Book review: The Switch, by Chris Goodall

The Switch: How solar, storage and new tech means cheap power for all is the optimistic title of Chris Goodall‘s latest book. If you haven’t come across Goodall before, he’s one of the most astute energy writers and commentators out there, and always worth hearing. The Switch is his latest book, and it’s all about […]

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rise and fall of nations

The Rise and Fall of Nations, by Ruchir Sharma

Ruchir Sharma is Head of Emerging Markets and Chief Global Strategist at Morgan Stanley. His job is to watch global trends, looking for sound investments – which countries are growing or likely to grow in the short term, and which ones are on the verge of decline? When is growth sound and sustainable, and when […]

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A note on advertising

Just a personal note today – for the last few years I’ve had a three day a week day job that has allowed me to pursue my writing and campaigning. I decided to give that up earlier this year in order to write full time. That’s going well so far, and I have some great […]

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a future beyond growth

Book review: A future beyond growth

Month by month, the detail around the idea of an economy on the other side of growth is being filled out. There are conferences, papers, books, all filling out the picture of how it might work and how we get there. The idea of a postgrowth economy isn’t new, but in the last decade or […]

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