Category Archives: History

Observations, lessons, and predictions for the Catalan situation

[cross-posted, slightly updated, from Pearls and Limitations] Observations: About 40% of the population of Catalonia and its capital Barcelona was not born there, but largely comes from the rest of Spain. Internal migration is high, with about 0.4% of the … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Economics and public policy, Education, Ethics, History, Immigration and refugees, Inequality, Life, Media, Politics - international, Social Policy, Society, Theatre | 4 Comments

Taking competitive neutrality seriously: My challenge to the PC

Reproduced from today’s  Mandarin Around the world, finance is a major policy problem driven ultimately by the ease with which insiders can advantage themselves (sometimes illegally, but mostly legally) against outsiders — the mug punters who must pay for financial services. … Continue reading

Posted in Best From Elsewhere, Cultural Critique, Economics and public policy, History, Innovation, Political theory, Politics - national | 4 Comments

Patricia Edgar: What are Children’s Television Programs and should we preserve them? Part One of Three

‘Tell me a story!’ What child has not expressed those words? Children find the fantasy world a story transports them into, comforting, entertaining and enlightening. As a prelude to sleep stories allow them to dream the impossible. They explain the … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Democracy, Economics and public policy, Films and TV, History, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Is Catholicism in rude health? 2017 edition

Looking at the newspapers you’d think Catholicism is having a hard time with philandering priests and cover-ups of their doings being found out on a weekly basis. In Australia, the royal commission has uncovered a lot of systematically covered-up child … Continue reading

Posted in Art and Architecture, Bullshit, Cultural Critique, Dance, Death and taxes, Ethics, Geeky Musings, History, Humour, Libertarian Musings, Miscellaneous, Politics - international, Religion, Society, WOW! - Amazing | 9 Comments

Selection by lot and international relations

Selection by lot is a simple idea, so it’s not surprising that it can be useful in many situations. Whenever I see institutional dysfunction or idiocy, I think “how could selection by lot improve things?” In a discussion last week with the … Continue reading

Posted in History, Political theory, Politics - international | 6 Comments

Good old Collingwood forever: Speech to the Australian Evaluation Society Annual Conference

In Memoriam: Bill Craven 1 Herewith my speech to the Australian Evaluation Society Annual Conference dinner last night, also published at The Mandarin. I In 2005 Peter Shergold, the country’s most senior public servant said this: If there were a single cultural … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Economics and public policy, Ethics, History, Humour, Philosophy | 2 Comments

My 60th Birthday: Let the record show …

We hurtle along the conveyor belt of life just hoping not to start hearing Frank Sinatra’s “I did it my way” ringing in our ears too soon. So it was with some trepidation that I arranged a 60th birthday party. I’d not had … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy, History, Life | 6 Comments