Slope of Hope Blog Posts

Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.

Brief History of Doom

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Banner ads on websites don’t normally work on me, but about a week ago, as I was over on ZH, there was an ad for a book called Brief History of Doom which instantly grabbed my attention. Even though I had written a similar book, Panic Prosperity and Progress, you can imagine that any book about financial ruination is going to seize my interest, so I bought it.

I enjoyed the book, and I’d certainly recommend it. I will say that the most enjoyable part of the book for me was the introduction, which ran about the length of a regular chapter. That’s where the author lays out his core arguments. In a nutshell, his main point is that the growth of private debt in a country, particularly when that debt exceeds 150% of GDP, is a reliable (>80%) predictor of financial catastrophe.

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Make Me a Chai, Robot

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I was recently griping to The Director about the fact that I buy a chai from Philz Coffee every weekday morning, but the quality varies from so-so to great. I had taken it upon myself to try to figure out which of the baristas there managed to make the best chai, but I realized that was pointless, since my mobile order was going to get randomly assigned.

He wrote me back with a link to a startup that is making a chai robot. Now this isn’t a C3PO-style humanoid scurrying around delivering chai. Instead, it is a big ol’ box whose innards are wholly devoted to creating a user-defined chai with the precise ingredients and quantities you desire.

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