Author Archives: Nicholas Gruen

Why I’m not reading Steven Pinker’s latest

I’m afraid this post won’t live up to the title above. It has its genesis in a long email I wrote someone who told me I just had to read Jeremy Lend’s critique of ‘Enlightenment Now’. I’ve mainly just topped and tailed … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, Cultural Critique, Political theory | 18 Comments

To overcome commonsense, and at the same time, to be wrong

As Orwell put it “there are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.” At least in economics one of the things that sets up intellectuals for this is the way so much of their discipline seeks to get … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Democracy, Economics and public policy, Environment, History, Humour | 14 Comments

What a description can say: by JOHN BURNHEIM

There are so many pitfalls here. Mathematics enables us to construct moving pictures of almost any possible state of affairs. But no picture can say that there is a real state of affairs corresponding to it in the real world. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Tragedy of the Commons versus the Comedy of the Parks: By JOHN BURNHEIM

In the context of my writing about public goods, John Burnheim sent me the email below. (Note his use of the word ‘comedy is intended as Dante meant it – as a story where things turn out in the end). … Continue reading

Posted in Politics - international, Public and Private Goods | 6 Comments

Some New Year’s nourishment from two people I admire

Well, Happy New Year all. Here’s a post introducing you to two people I admire. At least from the little I know of each, they lead lives that exemplify the virtues I believe in. They’re common virtues, lots of people have them – probably most people … Continue reading

Posted in Life | 1 Comment

Deck the halls of academe: Managerialism, product placement and The Conversation, featuring Troppo’s annual Christmas competition

I was checking out Peter Martin’s list of Seven really bright (policy) ideas for a forthcoming article currently titled “What is a policy hack?”(It’s a good article which I recommend). When I noticed something. All the links to the original sources are … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy, Media | 3 Comments

Peter Shergold’s foreword to my submission to the Thodey Review

At a time like this, with two sleeps to go before Santa’s elves hack Alexa and get it to let Santa and his reindeer shapeshift their way through your aircon duct and into your living rooms, our minds turn to the simple things … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments