It’s not just the alt-right that are in the denial-of-reality business

I write this article in the knowledge that it may be the last I submit for publication on Medium, not because I intend to cease writing but because there’s a chance this article will result in me being struck off the platform — as happened a few months ago to…

Laws came into existence as a method of avoiding blood feuds, but as all laws are made by highly fallible humans, they can be dysfunctional and harmful

“It’s the law!”

This statement is often used to indicate that obedience is required to some rule that has become encoded in a particular nation’s legal system and is presently in force. Provided we never pause to think about it, we can assume it’s obvious everyone should obey every law…

Why making people afraid of words diminishes us all

Those who are familiar with English literature and letters from approximately 1700 CE to 1800 CE know that the period was filled with colorful prose and the moeurs of the time were far from bashful. Novels from that period include Cleland’s Fanny Hill and Stern’s Tristram Shandy, both of which…

Far from being a visionary, Musk has no imagination at all

It’s a truism that most people will believe whatever you tell them regardless of its plausibility. Millions of simple-minded dupes voted for Trump thanks to a couple of soundbites they could chant happily while waving little US flags (made in China). Their equivalents in the UK flushed that nation down…

Why the “it’s not been as bad as the remoaners said it would be” claim is hollow

When a slender majority of those who voted in the 2016 UK referendum on whether or not the nation should leave the European Union responded affirmatively, the UK set itself on a one-way road to national decline. …

How humanity could split into two distinct groups

Most readers, familiar with the endless sensationalism of the mass media and the inevitable political polarization that democracy engenders, may assume the title of this article refers to the far-right/far-left divisions that plague us today. As the USA descends into civil chaos and the UK eagerly follows; as France gets…

How corporations, politicians, and NGOs all exploit our hardwired bias toward loss-avoidance

For 98% of our evolutionary history, life was a zero-sum game. As a species with very limited technology (a few rocks, perhaps a few pointed sticks, and then much later the wonder of fire) we survived on the margins, clinging to existence and dying young. There was no way to…

Why we need to attempt to think instead of passively repeating soundbites

I recently wrote an article here on Medium called Why Democracy Always Fails, in which I outlined the fundamental systemic problems with the concept of representative democracy and why it cannot be tinkered with to produce meaningful improvements. I explained why democracy always eventually results in populism, which can be…

How decarbonization and dictatorship combine to leave Saudi Arabia with no future

Few people know much about Saudi Arabia, not least because it’s quite a hermetic sort of country. Even the expatriates who work there glimpse only a fraction of Saudi life and the journalists who occasionally report on some sensationalistic story merely skim over the surface and leave much unsaid. …

Why it’s important to remember that science trembles on the edge of unreason

Scientific empiricism is the most significant development in the history of our species. Its effects have been far more profound than the invention of fire, the wheel, and any weapon created since one of our distant ancestors smashed the skull of his neighbor with a stone. …

Allan Milne Lees

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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