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Secrets about People: A Short and Dangerous Introduction to René Girard

The more we understand about the world around us, the less it seems we understand about people and the way they are. This post is an introduction to one man, named René Girard, who bucked this trend: his perception of the nature of behaviour is like a laser that goes right to the core of the human condition. We watch and learn by copying others, and the most important thing we learn from others is desire. Girard understood something important about desire; so did Shakespeare and Dostoevsky, and so do… Read more Secrets about People: A Short and Dangerous Introduction to René Girard

Snippets 2.0 – it’s back, baby

——-> <—— Guess what! Snippets is back. (It will probably need a new name though. Email me if you have suggestions. I’ve heard a couple good ones so far…) Thank you so much to all of you for reading my newsletter every week. I’m really lucky to have you all as an audience and I’m looking forward to keeping this newsletter going, both through paternity leave and beyond. Here’s what you can expect from this: -I will keep up the once a week newsletter schedule, and send it out… Read more Snippets 2.0 – it’s back, baby

“I, too, am Contrarian”: moving on from Social Capital / final newsletter

A major personal announcement: I’m moving on from Social Capital! I’m not leaving for any new opportunity in particular; instead I’m taking some time for parental leave, and my hope is to get lots of good writing done while I’m off. As of today, all of my writing going forward will be back on (and stay tuned for a new newsletter as well…). In the meantime, here is the last issue of Snippets for Social Capital, which I’m reposting here for your reading: For my last Snippets, I want… Read more “I, too, am Contrarian”: moving on from Social Capital / final newsletter

A technical introduction to Bitcoin for non-technical people

This post is something I’ve wanted to exist for a long time, but have never really found to my liking: an introductory but real explanation of how Bitcoin actually works, meant for a smart but non-technical audience. The original Bitcoin white paper is actually quite readable, and if you’ve ever thought about reading it you absolutely should. This post is meant for anyone who might be a bit intimidated by the technical stuff it talks about, but wants to learn anyway. Have no fear: although it’s a complicated system, there… Read more A technical introduction to Bitcoin for non-technical people

Starting this thing back up

Hey guys, Dropping a quick note that I’m going to start posting here again. Not so much work stuff: you can find my Social Capital essays on Medium here, and my weekly newsletter, which you should sign up to, is at But I’ve been increasingly thinking about posting life updates, fun personal posts, and really anything else I’ve been making here rather than on places like Facebook. (For anyone who doesn’t know: Tessa and I are expecting our first kid in the summer, so expect baby pictures.) As always,… Read more Starting this thing back up

Seeking the Indicorn

Note: this post originally appeared on Medium, where I’ll be posting first from now on. If you’re a Medium user, or thinking about starting, you can follow me here!   A huge number of Internet companies are going to be created in the next decade that are native to the developing world. Many of them will go on to build great things big and small, but only a select few of them will reach mythic status — the way Google and Facebook have reached here, and the likes of Microsoft, Cisco and… Read more Seeking the Indicorn