Sign in

Dreamer, Thinker, World Builder. Numbers on even days and Words on odd. Founder and CEO of Socratus. Writing on Medium on all matters ≤ 42.
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Day One

After a long divisive campaign at the end of a longer, even more divisive presidency, it looks like Donald Trump will no longer be the president of the United States come January 21st 2021.


I have been thinking of meditation and mindfulness for many years; way back when, I was a grad student at MIT when the first international Mind and Life meeting brought the Dalai Lama in dialog with neuroscientists and launched the field that’s now called contemplative neuroscience. A few years later in 2010, I was on the stage with the Dalai Lama at the MLI meeting in Delhi 👇🏾.

Those were heady days; I thought that we were finally about to combine insights from Indo-Tibetan philosophical and contemplative traditions, techniques from neuroscience and new technologies to create a better world…


Narasimha and Hiranyakasipu

The Middle of the World

Once upon a time, a demon terrorized the world. His name is unimportant for our story, but just for the record, he went by Hiranyakasipu. But in the first of many contradictions in this story, he too was a devotee of the creator, spending years seeking divine favor. Pleased with his tapas, Brahma appeared in front of Hiranyakasipu:

B: ‘ask and you shall receive’

HK: ‘make me immortal’

B: ‘That’s a bit much. Make me a better offer’

HK: ‘If I am to be killed, make it that whoever kills me is neither man nor beast, neither inside nor outside…


Photographer: Alexandra | Source: Unsplash

In this second essay in the Trump to Biden series (first one here), I address some of the deep challenges facing the US, the illnesses of which the transition was a symptom. For future reference:

  1. Joseph Tainter: The Collapse of Complex Societies
  2. Peter Turchin: Historical Dynamics: Why States Rise and Fall

This is not about the Trump to Biden transition or even the United States. According to Tainter:

“The world today is full,” Tainter writes. Complex societies occupy every inhabitable region of the planet. There is no escaping. This also means, he writes, that collapse, “if and when it comes…


Not that I need to tell you, but 2020 was one hell of a year, with the tumultuous transition from Trump to Biden serving as a capstone to a worldwide pandemic, which itself was a symbol of everything that’s wrong with the world today: globalization and automation increasing inequality and decreasing jobs, tension between the West and China over who should rule the world, and most importantly, that climate change will disrupt all plans.

On November 8th, after it was clear Biden had won, I set out to write a daily update on what was clearly going to be a…


How should we learn to solve public problems? What methods will give us a visceral feel for the future? I once tried to convince the city of Cambridge (that’s Cambridge, Massachusetts, not Cambridge, England) to give me a block in the heart of the city for a weekend futuring exercise.

The idea was that once you passed through an invisible wall surrounding the block you were twenty years in the future and would have to act, work and play as if you were inhabiting that future right now. …


Tom Cotton

Newslet

In several decades of appreciating dystopia, of reading and re-reading the Brave New World, 1984, Animal Farm, The Castle etc, I had never heard of, let alone read, Evgeny Zamyatin. His novel, ‘We,’ was the inspiration for Orwell and perhaps Huxley too. On my reading list.

Surveillance Capitalism vs Fossil Fuel Capitalism

Trump got more votes in 2020 than anyone else before him besides Biden and Obama. There are more voters, but the degree of support for Trump has many people worried for the future. Typical headline:

If Joe Biden Fails Then His Successor will be a Christian Fascist Who is Much More…


Starting today, I am adding a random newslet that has nothing to with the main update of the day but adds nuance to the T2B story.

Newslet

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock in Taiwan ( 0 cases in 200 days and counting) you know that Pfizer:

  1. Announced a COVID vaccine that’s over 90% effective in trials.
  2. Didn’t accept federal fundingOperation Warp Speed as it’s been called — to develop the vaccine.
  3. Announced the results of its successful trial a couple of days after the election so that Trump couldn’t claim credit.

Even hyper-capitalist AEI ‘thought leaders’ are…


Voting in the US is heavily skewed by race and less so by gender. This being a strange year, Trump gained votes in every POC group and lost share among white voters, even if his advantage remains solid. Where did he lose white votes? White college educated men made the biggest shift.


First up, claps 👏🏾 and shares 📣 are much appreciated.

So far in this series

  1. From Trump to Biden: A Daily Post Until Jan 20th
  2. From Trump to Biden II: Will he leave?
  3. From Trump to Biden III: Political Contagion

Starting today, I’m contracting the beginning to T2BN seeing as it will be about the transition for another 70 days.

Troll in Chief

It shouldn’t surprise anyone the Trump team is using all its resources to de-legitimize the Biden victory, from the direct assault on its validity by Trump himself to the innuendo peddled by his subordinates. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was asked whether he’s planning on…

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store