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Technology

Three Observations on ASEAN E-Commerce

Since joining a private equity firm a long, long time ago (but not, alas, in a galaxy far, far away), I have developed a fairly poor opinion of the efficacy of consultants, particularly in the area of _predictions._1I am also skeptical of their strategy and policy recommendations. Yet, I do admit that they can do good work in collecting and summarizing data, which can be very useful when trying to understand what is going on in a particular region.…

Further Thoughts on the Blockchain

In May 2015, I wrote a blog post about the potential of the blockchain. I was optimistic about its potential.1Yet, recent Bitcoin developments suggest that I should re-visit my opinion about Bitcoin and the blockchain in light of new information. The new information included, firstly, the very public resignation of Mike Hearn, a former Bitcoin core developer, from the project, complete with a post on Medium titled, “The resolution of the Bitcoin experiment”.…

Some Thoughts on Nuclear Energy Startups

One of the most interesting—to me, at least—sessions at the 2015 EmTech MIT conference was a panel on energy, involving experts in solar, battery storage, and nuclear energy. Indeed, I would say this, coupled with the artificial intelligence and robotics panels, were the panels I enjoyed the most. Of them, again due to personal interest and background, the nuclear energy session led by Leslie Dewan of Transatomic Power was particularly interesting for the following reasons:…

Thoughts on Fintech

I recently had the pleasure of listening to a panel sponsored by Wharton Fintech discussing investments in the fintech sector. Also, a friend asked me recently about what companies in the fintech sector I thought were particularly interesting. It seems apposite, therefore, to set out some of my thoughts in a more structured and public form.…

Blockchain’s Potential

This post will begin with a brief history of Bitcoin, progress to a summary of my views on Bitcoin as money, and conclude with my views on the blockchain as an enabling protocol. This history does not aim to be a comprehensive chronology of Bitcoin. Rather, it is my intention to create something of a thematic overview of Bitcoin, covering its origins, some milestones in its development, its price history in U.…

Why I Read Science Fiction

I have learned a lot about thinking about the future through reading (and to a much lesser degree writing) science fiction. Science fiction, particularly “hard science fiction”, is principally about extrapolating the future from current scientific knowledge. It cultivates in its practitioners an awareness of potential avenues for future development. To write good hard science fiction one must be aware of the state of current science, and the ways in which such science could be expressed in technologies and how such technologies might affect individuals and societies.…

Thoughts on Disruptive Technologies, 2015

One caveat that I wish to make at the beginning of this—very lengthy—entry. I am looking at technologies that can change the world in a non-incremental fashion, regardless of…