What is this website about?

In General: It’s my personal blog, where i publish my essays and papers on topics i am interested in, so broadly philosophy, politics, economics and literature, mostly from an approach of pragmatic skepticism.

More specific: most of the time skeptic essays about narrative & behavioral economics, endogenous growth theory, rational choice, game theory, artificial intelligence, evolutionary psychology, communication studies or epistemology.

Even more specific: You you will have find that out by yourself.

Who am I?

Hi, I’m Nikodem. I’m a Polish-German writer currently studying for a Master’s degree in philosophy. You could probably describe me as a polymath, driven by an idiosyncratic mix of passions from the humanities and sciences, including literature, epistemology, politics, economics, AI and psychology. This website is my personal blog – my second personal blog, to be precise. The first one started in German in 2016 at leveret-pale.de and is now filled with hundreds of posts, still alive and more active than this one here. But it’s in German and therefore only accessible to a global minority of people who might be interested in my work. As I write more and more in English (mostly academic papers and essays), and hopefully some of my novels will be translated and published in English in the future, I thought it would be a good idea to open up to a more international audience. So here we are! I plan to publish my academic writings in English on this site, some of them translations of my German work, some of them original. Over time, I plan to add more content – like translated short stories, insights into my projects, and more.

My story so far:

As mentioned above, I am a writer among other things. Actually, writing is one of the very few things I have been doing since the beginning of my conscious memories. Born on 26 February 1999 in Munich, Germany, the son of immigrants from Poland, I started writing my first short stories at the age of four. They weren’t very good at the beginning – one of the stories I still have lying around from the Kindergarten-time is about pirates on a treasure hunt, illustrated with stickmen. But over the years I kept on writing, kept improving.  Moving between countries, cities, universities, interests and jobs, I have always written something. Writing was often the only constant.

My first novels and short stories were published when I was fifteen, and there are now about two dozen books with my name or one of my pen names on them. Some of them are rather playful experimental works of creative transgression like a novel titled Crack-smoking Chickens which i wrote and published as a rebellious teenager. Some are more serious like The Awakening of the Last Human, The Night After or The Fascist, dealing with and reflecting on politics, the meaning of life, ethics, game theory and more through fiction. And some are just fun, with only little sparks of philosophy in the subtext, like my short stories published in Humans and other strange beings or Fantastic LMU, the later being a homage to my University in Munich i co-wrote with friends. Unfortunately, my publications are all in German – and I’m not nearly as proficient in English as I am in German. And not nearly as skillful as I would like to be. So i will continue to write literature in German, but I will do my best while writing in English for this blog.

Apart from writing, I have always been interested in science, business and politics. So I started studying Communication and Psychology in Jena, because it allowed me to take courses in economics, psychology, statistics, media-studies and sociology. It also allowed me to satisfy my political interests by combining these fields while researching and analysing Russian internet propaganda and ways to counter it. But while doing an internship at the Bundestag I met a lot of philosophers working at think tanks. During an event at one of them I met the businessman John Mackey. He argued very convincingly that philosophy, as the study of knowledge, is elementary and a key to success in our digital age, where knowledge and data are abundant but therefore also often difficult to understand and navigate. (Or this is what stuck in my head, it was the summer of 2019). This was the final argument that convinced me to change my degree.

In the end, I chose Philosophy also because it is one of the few degrees that offers an interdisciplinary approach to the world that satisfies my curiosity. A curiosity that I love to share in my essays, in which I mainly follow the approach of a very pragmatic and sceptical synthetic philosophy. I see philosophy primarily as a science of knowledge that acts as a link between all other sciences and can help us to make sense of the world and to act rightly in it. In other words, as little dubious metaphysics as possible. And yes, philosophy was the right choice, as far as i can judge – though also because i could supplement it with a lot of extra curricular courses on economics, statistics and computer science.

This pragmatic and interdisciplinary approach also more or less defines my academic and professional life – as being a writer is actually a hobby that only acts as a glue for everything else, as spending my life only with writing would be too dull. I’m convinced that you have to experience and understand something in order to write something meaningful and to add value to the world  – and just sitting at a desk and typing won’t let you experience or understand anything nor make the world a better place. At worst, you’ll just get lost in platonising bullshit or writing boring novels about boring writers because you don’t know anything else – which would be of no use to no one. I probably only call myself a writer because, well people like labels, and writer sounds less presumptuous than thinker or philosopher – and it is still more accurate than a proper job title, which is subject to regular change. Especially since most of the time I am still in the phase of studying, travelling and doing internships.

Professionally, I am usually two things: a communicator – experienced in political communication, marketing, science communication and corporate communication – and an organiser, experienced in hosting events and stages, editing and managing projects. I have worked in the fields of politics, marketing, AI research and consulting, and have been editor-in-chief of several student projects and hold several leadership positions while volunteering. And well, let’s see where the journey goes.

Nikodem Skrobisz