Category Archives: Philosophy

Sam Harris, idolater of reason, outs himself

Too much wit outwits itself Folk saying quoted by Hegel 1 I stumbled upon this extraordinary exchange between Sam Harris and Ezra Klein, late the night before last and though, I was supposed to be going to sleep, I couldn’t stop till I’d … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Philosophy, Political theory | 16 Comments

Our countries need us.

Humanity is at a high point. What our ancestors dreamed of is slowly becoming a reality: a world without hunger in which the vast majority of mankind live peaceful and long lives. We are not there yet, but in Europe, … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Democracy, Economics and public policy, Education, Ethics, History, Inequality, Information, Life, Literature, Philosophy, Political theory, Politics - international, Politics - national, Religion, Science, Social Policy, Society | 10 Comments

Getting the right decision democratically – by John Burnheim

In many areas of policy, particularly where relatively homogeneous communities deliberate about matters within their everyday experience, the informal processes of discussion in the community can, and often do, lead to changes in public opinion that in turn lead to … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Philosophy, Political theory | 6 Comments

The poverty of voting

A post by John Burnheim. About ten months ago, John Burnheim wrote to me in terms I’ve reproduced on this blog previously. John was one of the early movers in academia exploring the limitations of electoral democracy with his book Is Democracy Possible … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Information, Philosophy, Political theory | 16 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 | 12 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