Category Archives: Cultural Critique

Now is the time for complacency: RBA v Bank of England edition

Reposted from the Mandarin I In our contemporary lexicon ‘independence’ – for instance of a government body – is usually a Good Thing. 1 But if we’re thinking of independence as a good thing for an agency to have – for instance the Productivity … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Democracy, Economics and public policy | 6 Comments

Evidence-based policy: why is progress so slow and what can be done about it

Here’s a presentation I gave at the anniversary of Australian Policy Online which has been cunningly rebranded under its old acronym as Analysis and Policy Observatory.  I gave a similar one at Kings College London a few weeks previously. Note that some of … Continue reading

Posted in Bullshit, Cultural Critique, Economics and public policy, Philosophy, Political theory, regulation | 10 Comments

Affected speech impediments: is this a uniquely English phenomenon?

Last night, having read a fantastic essay (pdf) by the great historian of revolutionary and pre-revolutionary America Bernard Bailyn, I made my way to the lecture series in honour of Isaiah Berlin where there were plenty more interesting lectures. In any event I’ve known of … Continue reading

Posted in Blegs, Cultural Critique | 9 Comments

Advance Australia Fair: ignore the other national histories on offer.

National history is the story that binds ‘us who make up the nation’ into a single entity with a collective memory. It has a purpose and as such we can choose what historical events and realities to put into that … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Death and taxes, Democracy, Ethics, Geeky Musings, History, Humour, Indigenous, Life, Politics - national, Race and indigenous, Social, Society | 35 Comments

Let’s have another World War!

Sometimes, it feels like 1910 all over again. Then, a confident Germany was the up-and-coming industrial power house, fearing an even more up-and-coming Russia, with the UK and France desperately holding on to their colonial empires. Now, a confident China … Continue reading

Posted in Bullshit, Business, Climate Change, Cultural Critique, Death and taxes, Democracy, Economics and public policy, Employment, Environment, Ethics, Geeky Musings, Gender, History, Humour, Immigration and refugees, Indigenous, Inequality, Information, Innovation, Intellectual Monopoly Privileges, Journalism, Media, Miscellaneous, Music, Philosophy, Political theory, Politics - international, Politics - national, Public and Private Goods, Race and indigenous, regulation, Religion, Science, Social, Social Policy, Society, Sport-general, Theatre, Travel | 5 Comments

The #MeToo moment: another disaster for the Democrats?

The #MeToo flood of stories of women who feel abused by men – ranging from lurid stares to straightforward rape – seems like a disaster to me for the Democrats. Not because of the stories themselves, but because of how … Continue reading

Posted in bubble, Bullshit, Cultural Critique, Gender, Health, Humour, Information, IT and Internet, Law, Libertarian Musings, Life, Media, Miscellaneous, Philosophy, Religion, Social | 19 Comments

Public organisations and political advocacy

Various people like Margaret Court are stroppy that private companies like Qantas are supporting same sex marriage. I’m not too sure I can see a problem. This is largely self-interested behaviour from our corporates and the pursuit of that self-interest – … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Political theory, Politics - national | 20 Comments