A short book (and podcast) about unlocking our potential.

Artwork created by Brendan Smith. Thanks Brendan!

1. Introduction

Hello. Let me introduce myself: I’m Robert Jameson — and I’m interested in how we can make the world a better place by unlocking people’s potential for intelligent thinking.

In this short book, I’m going to be presenting some ideas about what I think are the key skills and capabilities at the heart of genius. More importantly, I’m going to be suggesting ways in which these skills and capabilities can be developed.

I’ve called this book, ‘The Dark Arts of Genius,’ because it deals with what, for many people, is the unmentionable, unacceptable, inappropriate and downright offensive subject of…

Simplicity is a huge part of its enormous potential.

Image by Mahesh Patel from Pixabay

Basic Income is a brilliant idea, with many important potential benefits. It can help us build a better society — and more and more people seem to be recognising this. But there’s a major obstacle to overcome if we are ever to build a successful Basic Income system: The often disastrous political temptation to over-complicate things.

The three golden rules.

When designing a Basic Income system, there are three basic rules you should keep firmly in mind at all times:

  1. Keep it simple.
  2. Keep it simple.
  3. Keep it simple.

If you carefully follow each of these three basic rules, you shouldn’t go far wrong.

Tim Cook wants everyone back in the office

Image by Austin Community College — Wikimedia Commons (CC2.0)

Like millions of other workers during this pandemic, many of Apple’s staff have been working from home. But now Tim Cook has sent Apple employees an e-mail demanding they return to the office, for at least three days a week, by early September. Some may be allowed to work remotely for up to two days a week, but only with the express permission of their managers.

This is a deeply disappointing development.

I was hoping the pandemic would change attitudes towards remote working.

Before the pandemic, many millions of office workers left their houses each day and crowded onto trains…

The evidence against alleged disability fraudsters may not be as clear-cut as it seems.

Disability fraudster? (Image by Adriana gois from Pixabay)

There are occasional stories in the news about people who have seemingly been caught pretending to be disabled, or exaggerating their disabilities, for financial gain.

Sometimes they’re claiming disability welfare payments. Sometimes they’re making a compensation claim — perhaps against an employer. Sometimes they’re seeking an insurance payout — perhaps following a car accident.

They may claim difficulty in walking. They may say they experience great pain. They may say they have to use a stick or even a wheelchair. They may say their general mobility and their employment prospects have been substantially and adversely affected by this disability.


Which one are you?

Image by Gerhard G. from Pixabay

Ev Williams wants Medium to be the home of high-quality content.

Medium is supposed to give priority exposure to high-quality stories. This should help incentivise writers to produce more high quality stories. A virtuous circle would be set in motion and Medium’s future would look very bright indeed.

Various strategies have been employed to try to achieve this outcome, but they haven’t been particularly successful. And they’ve been too expensive. The failure of these strategies was predictable — but I’ll deal with that issue in another article.

Medium needs a new strategy to help it meet the laudable ambitions of…

How would you cope if that was you?

Image by jimbo4444 from Pixabay

Over the last year or so, many millions of people around the world have experienced social isolation. Lockdowns and other restrictions meant they were unable to meet up with friends to play sport, go to the pub, have a meal, or even just sit on a bench in the park and chat.

Some people found this social isolation difficult to cope with. Some turned to alcohol or comfort eating. Some experienced mental health problems. Some became desperately unhappy — and in extreme cases, suicidal.

It may be true that most people coped reasonably well — but perhaps that’s partly because…

A firm rejection of some very common writing advice.

Image by Bernd Flickenschild from Pixabay

There are a lot of people trying to be successful writers. There are a lot of online articles offering advice on how to be a successful writer. And some of these articles offer advice on how to write well. In essence, they attempt to define what constitutes good writing.

And what do these articles tell us about how we should write? Many of them share a common theme. Be definite, direct and efficient, they tell us. Use common words. Keep sentences and descriptions short. Cut down on the adjectives. Cut out the adverbs.

Put even more succinctly: Many words are…

But will Tim Cook be bold enough to go for it?

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Apple makes some bold claims about the capabilities of its M1 processor — the new “Apple Silicon” system on a chip that powers its latest MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini.

World’s fastest CPU core in low-power silicon

World’s best CPU performance per watt

World’s fastest integrated graphics in a personal computer

…a quantum leap in performance at a fraction of the power.

Apple claims the MacBook Air, for example, has an “up to 3.5x faster CPU” and “up to 5x faster graphics” than its Intel-powered predecessor, despite no longer requiring a fan.

Obviously the use of the phrase…

Basic Income

And that stigma arises out of thoughtlessness.

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Suppose you have a choice:

Option 1: You could take up a career that would earn you a lot of money, but would involve doing something which might actually be harmful to society as a whole. An obvious example would be a job that involves marketing very sugary drinks to kids — thus potentially causing all sorts of health problems.

Option 2: You could take up a career which pays very badly, but which would at least be making a very positive contribution to society — such as promoting a good cause of some kind.

You might think that people…

⭐ Robert Jameson

Tech Fan, Philosopher, Economist and Basic Income advocate. tiny.cc/RJMedStuff

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