(Drawing by Minty Sainsbury)

You’re curious and smart and you always seek to understand and learn once you’ve been given a proper chance to be interested.

Your school rebuffs curiosity and interest by teaching in a formulaic way that you, understandably, find boring.

Your school mostly rewards discipline and those who’ve been lucky to find some interest through same way other than through their lessons.

You’re hard working and you’re smart. The fact that your grades aren’t high isn’t a reflection of your intelligence — it’s a consequence of your lack of inspiration.

Remember that there are many kinds of intelligence. Curiosity is one of the most important of all of them.

You don’t have to succeed in a broken school system to be a success in life and to be an important part of society.


(Drawing by Minty Sainsbury)

We’re living through a time of rapid acceleration of solutions to local and global problems.

In the words of Will Gibson, “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.”

Unregulated, neoliberal capitalism was purported to ensure a perfectly functioning free market, and efficient direction of capital to the best* projects, but ultimately has resulted in a highly inefficient system dominated by huge companies, billionaires and virtual monopolies.

Similarly, the social media space was supposed to positively connect us together, mix communities and increase the efficiency with which worthwhile voices and projects are discovered. On the contrary…


(Drawing by Minty Sainsbury)

There is a remarkable ignorance in the world about the importance of nature in overcoming the global crisis.

Rather than the “climate crisis” we ought to be calling it all the “nature crisis”, because destroying our natural home is what we’re doing. The climate is just one part of our natural home.

There’s a beautiful word for missing one’s own planet, and I’ve forgotten what it is, but I’m feeling it more every day.

It’s disastrous that so many misunderstand that anything that supports truly wild nature stores carbon and vice versa. …


(Drawing by Minty Sainsbury)

When our lives have purpose, our lives are a good story.

Stories shape and define us. We might like to think otherwise, but most of what we think we know isn’t based on thorough understanding; it’s based on seemingly coherent stories. This is why one person’s logical decision can be completely illogical to another.

When our life story is a good one, we go to sleep thinking about it, and we wake up thinking about it too, full of ideas and inspiration for where we might go or what we might do next. …


(Drawing by Minty Sainsbury)

In order for our number system to reflect the universe we inhabit, we have to reshape it.

  • Rather than “1” representing a single unit, 1 ought to represent the maximal whole.
  • 2 could then be the first symmetrical subdivision, 3 the next symmetrical subdivision and so on,
  • 0 would denote a non-existent system.

In effect, we would be counting in something akin to reciprocal space. We already count in reciprocal space in many areas of observation, like X-ray crystallography.

It’s my belief that a number system built in this way could be complete, consistent and decidable… it might also please…


(Drawing by Minty Sainsbury)

Here are some of my thoughts on things we don’t know the answers to. Hopefully these ideas will help others to see further.

Our scales are upside-down

Many of our scales are misleadingly inverted.

It’s become more normal to measure speeds as an absolute fraction of “c”, rather than relative to a theoretical but non-existent zero, but other measurements are behind.


(Drawing by Minty Sainsbury)

This piece of writing is about how to use ramial chipped wood (RCW) to turn our farms into carbon sponges producing much healthier food. I wrote it in November 2019, but I’ve only just got to publishing it. Sorry for the delay!

Farmers could easily be the heroes of the climate and ecological crisis, and they could be making healthier food, and more of it with less effort too.

By learning from nature and farming in closer harmony with it, farmers could be sequestering enormous quantities of carbon.

I’m going to write here about a methodology that’s based on hoodwinking…


(Drawing by Minty Sainsbury)

When big changes happen, we often talk about how order inevitably arises from chaos, and often a better order than we might have had before.

But we often miss something key when we’re considering this.

In physics, the only way for order to arise from chaos is with the transfer of energy. Work must be done for chaos to become order.

Chaos is very healthy for our lives, society and civilisation — it makes space to sweep out the old and usher in the new — but it only works with work.

Work hard my friends: the world is a mess and there is much work to be done.


(Drawing by Minty Sainsbury)

Here’s a small change that could transform the world…

I haven’t fully explored this idea, but I think it’s a good one to consider as a thought experiment.

What if we removed the ability for people to privately own companies?

Some people might have quite a reactionary response to this, thinking it an inherently communist idea, but I don’t think that would have to be the case at all.

How might it work?

It wouldn’t make sense to nationalise everything; we know that this can often be problematic.

Instead, as a formality, each person who worked at the company could…


(Drawing by Minty Sainsbury)

If you’re a crumb on a piece of toast, and you’re at the edge of the piece of toast, then your universe looks quite asymmetrical. In one direction is the crust and then a great expanse of nothingness. In the other is a glorious plain of delicious toast.

However, if you’re in the middle of the toast, then your universe looks quite symmetrical in every direction. Or at least it does if you’re zoomed out enough.

If you’re really zoomed in, then it might look different in every direction, as each crumb looks like a distinct mountain.

To us, our…

Matthew J Shribman

Science Storyteller, Environmentalist, Teacher, Normal Guy // MChem (Oxon) // co-founder of AimHi

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