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. …

Why Lausanne became my absolute favorite place to live

Let’s begin by acknowledging that there’s no such thing as the best city in the world. No matter what criteria we select to arrive at a ranking, personal taste plays such a large role that any claim will be spurious. All we can do is have our own favorites, based…

Turns out, we’ve all been mislead by researchers desperate to secure more of their generous funding

Today it’s impossible to avoid the topic of climate change. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution we’ve substituted fossil fuels for muscle and as a result our civilization has advanced technologically far beyond anything our ancestors could have imagined. There have been countless benefits, but the easiest way to…

Something so hopelessly unfit for purpose should be confined entirely to satirical cabaret shows

Imagine boarding a commercial airliner along with a few hundred other people. After taking your seat, you see some of your fellow-passengers standing up. Mostly these people are in the Business-First section, but there are one or two in the economy section where you’re sitting.

The people standing up begin…

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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