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Author. Find my novel, Brilliant White Peaks on Amazon here

Walking on the other side of the street.

Path-dependence is a phenomenon that we are all familiar with, even if the term itself is foreign to you. In short, you are path-dependent when your first decision has a disproportionate and lingering impact on your second decision, and so on, and so on.

We naturally have inertia when it comes to our decisions. We need reasons to deviate from our current path, even if we did not have reasons to be on this path to begin with. When you are walking down a street, you tend to stick to one side. …

Memes are the window into the soul of the modern man. This is true because for a meme to be successful, something must compel the host to share it. Information is not contagious on its own. Indeed, there is nothing I can do to a random string of numbers that will make you share it, with the possible exception of using only the numbers 4, 2, 0, 6 and 9.

A meme often touches on a deeper psychological truth. This psychological truth is held by many people but each individual has difficulty expressing it. It is a part of the…

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it. He who doesn’t, pays it.” — Albert Einstein (Allegedly)

There is a Twitter screenshot going around that says if you saved $10,000 every day since the height of Ancient Egypt, you wouldn’t have as much money as the top five billionaires today. This is true. The Giza Pyramids were built in the 4th dynasty, around 4600 years ago. If you saved $10,000 every day for 4600 years, you would have $16,790,000,000, or around 17 billion dollars. At 16.8 billion, you would rank just under Ray…

A top-down illustration of the panopticon, by architect Willey Reveley (1791)

The Panopticon

The panopticon is Jeremy Bentham’s famous prison design. As the name suggests, it is designed to be “all seeing” (panoptes) for the guards. It has a single guard tower in the center with a panoramic view of all the prison cells in the building. From there, a single guard can watch the entire prison.

The prison is designed such that light enters from the outside, through the cells, to the guard tower. This way, at any given time the individual prisoner would not know they’re being watched. Bentham describes his prison design like so:

The Building circular — an iron…

I: The creed

“As I travel though life,
weary and bored,

I shall take no solace in the stable and mundane.

My eyes spark as I come across,
a glimmer of new, a faint whisper:

“come explore”, it says.

I have been called, and I must go now,
for a new adventure awaits.”

— —

II: The leap

The leap of faith cannot be avoided.

This is something that life teaches all of us. We can either act, be proactive, and confront the unknown forthrightly — or we can be shoved off the ledge all the same. …

Suppose a crowd of 100 people were involved in a riot. All 100 were arrested for their involvement. Of the 100, we know that 99 people willfully damaged property. No other identifying information could be found.

Suppose that you are the judge for the trial of person X. The prosecutor presents the proof that 99 out of 100 people arrested that day damaged property, and infers from this fact that there is a 99% chance defendant X is guilty of the crime. Do you convict based on this evidence?

Your intuition might lean in either direction. If you lean towards…

There is a curious and stubborn split on the “political left”: between the feminist activists and the transgender activists. A lot of dirt is flung from both sides. Transgender people are accused of “reinforcing the gender stereotypes” and “distracting from the problems of sexual equality”. Similarly, feminists are often labelled TERFs (“ trans exclusionary radical feminists”) [1] and bigots for their refusal to accept trans-women as women.

The reason behind this schism, I think, goes deeper than the ideological conflicts on the surface. The incompatibility must lie in the differences in the gender metaphysics presupposed by each group. …

Diogenes looks for an honest man: with a lamp in the daylight.

The only serious philosophical problem, if there should be one: why aren’t we laughing at our philosophical problems? What’s not funny about 6 people tied to train tracks? Or pushing a rock up a hill forever? Or being tied up in a cave somewhere by a guy whose name literally means “broad shoulders”? The foundation of our knowledge was laid by a wrestler, who followed a profoundly ugly annoying fellow and took notes. A wrestler! What’s not funny about that?

Nothing, I say! Rejoice, my friends. Revel in the fact that it takes a noisy know-it-all on Medium to squeeze…

The central question for any system of normative ethics is the determination of the moral force of the course and events of human life. This inquiry is traditionally divided into the question of actions and the question of omissions (i.e. the failure or refusal to act). It is within this distinction we find the core problem with traditional consequentialism: that the moral weight of the consequences of acts and non-acts are treated the same. It is a fundamental presupposition of pure consequentialism, and indeed most forms of consequentialist thought, that the moral force of a course of existence lies solely…


This paper introduces a method of thought by which individual rights can be propagated and sustained through the self-serving interest of the individuals involved. The novel theories outlined in this paper are developed with a practical consideration: to explain and further the idea of individual rights without invoking social-contractual or naturalistic aspects. Doing so allows this paper to refer to rights as a concept in and of itself and helps to avoid absurdities that will become apparent below.

The aim of this paper is not to explain historic developments of individual rights, nor to introduce an overarching theory of how…

Teng Rong

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