A new year so I set my goals with the maximum of motivational momentum which of course was instantly derailed because I got sick with covid.
How is your year going so far?
I recently sat down with an organization working on lunar policy. The moon represents a “clean slate” in terms of human governance. It is the ultimate test to figuring out how can we arrange collective human activity, with benefit of all the knowledge of how we have utterly failed on Earth.
Thinking about alternative forms of governance has been a bit of a trend for me this past year. From learning about the challenges of sustainable communities on remote islands, to the breakdown of globalized supply due to the pandemic, to figuring out how to run a fully distributed company, and putting internet on the moon… Not to mention our complete lack of trust in our politicians and the failures in organizing for pandemic mitigation (not to mention the climate crisis)… Many people are hungry for a new way of doing things.
“How do we do this?“ It is a question as old as humans are. And I feel woefully underprepared in tackling it. I have gone back to some of my old political philosophy books, boning up on my knowledge of the basic theory. These are big hairy problems… but they are fascinating to think about. (Ears open to recommended readings!)
So, intellectually, my year is going great so far. And I even got some writing done! My first travel post in a while went up. I have been aching to write about my experiences in Shimabara, a very unique corner of Japan. There are a couple more posts I have in mind. Hopefully I can stay healthy in February, get my booster shot, and get a few more travel reports up.
In the meantime, stay warm, healthy, and happy!
New Year’s resolution time!
Signing for more expressiveness in group video chat
An idea that I am trying to implement in my company, which spends a lot of time muted on Zoom.
Living “with volcano” — a trip to Shimabara
First travel report in a long time! Crossing the Ariake Sea and a lesson in adaptability.
I was in the Asian Review of Books this weekend with a look at Shiraishi Takashi’s lecture series from 2015 (now in book form in English). It offers some insight into how the Japanese elite see Japan’s role in Asia. Link →
Pics of our homemade osechi ryōri for New years. Link →
Taiwanese sculptor Hsu Tung Han 韓旭東 carves pixelated wood sculptures. Link →
It’s January so its Kitayushu “Coming of Age Ceremony” time. Delivers. Video →
Inspiring children’s poetry. YES Link →
What Americans think working in Finland is like Video →
The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity by David Graeber and
This fascinating book challenges the narrowing of our collective political imagination in the past 300 years by examining the previous 40,000 years of human history, and all its myriad forms of governance. Reviewing the archeological evidence, Graeber and Wengrow show how the “common sense” about social development is wrong, shifting the burden of proof onto those who claim that modern society is inevitable.