A list of some opinions I changed my view on this year and links to sources of influence (which weren’t necessarily written in 2021):
I had no appreciation of how much China suffered from Japanese aggression during WW2. It in no way justifies behaviour today but it certainly is interesting context. Rana Mitter’s excellent book is eye-opening.
AI should be treated as a sovereign asset. A range of interviews by Matt Clifford has brought me around to this view.
When the Covid Lab Leak theory started to float around, I ridiculed it as conspiratorial nonsense. But the data and deduction around the idea is compelling enough for the probability to be non-zero.
We are incredibly, hilariously underinvested in near-earth object (asteroid) and solar monitoring. This made me re-think the context for investing in climate change i.e. we should be investing at least as much in external-facing planet protection as we are in carbon reduction/removal.
Related: I think the most important element of tackling climate change and other big problems will be financial engineering.
The Amazon rain-forest isn’t a natural miracle, it’s (at least partially) man-made and very old.
The play-to-earn model is here to stay in games at least, and probably some other sectors too (education?).
The creator economy will become bigger than the gig economy. I no longer think the idea of a universal creative income by platforms is entirely insane.
(This post was mostly composed in my head while walking up mountains on the Isle of Skye in Scotland)