Author Archives: Nicholas Gruen

The world of bullshit we’ve built: Reflections on a scene from Utopia

I recently took my son to the stage play of Yes, Prime Minister.  … The decades have made a huge difference in the sensibility of the new production … . The series ran through most of the 1980s, a period that … Continue reading

Posted in History, Philosophy, Political theory | Leave a comment

William Hague gets on board

William Hague has caught the bug for democratic lottery. And he writes about it well. This simple sentence is a nice little microcosm. “Social media companies are poisoning the democratic world with the addictive spread of narrow and intemperate opinions.” … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Sortition and citizens’ juries | 4 Comments

Michael Polanyi in 1960 on Teilhard de Chardin on evolution

Michael Polanyi was highly suspicious of the hyper-reductionism of neo-Darwinism. It’s reduction of the evolution of a thing so vast as life into a single causal mechanism. And it was a good call. Darwin himself had proposed that natural selection … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics, Philosophy, Science | Leave a comment

Democracy: doing it for ourselves

Above is the video of a presentation I made at NESTA in London on 15th November with discussants Claire Mellior and Martin Wolf. I reproduce (AI generated) timestamps in the shownotes of the video below. 00:00 – Introduction and Overview … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, History, Innovation, Politics - international, Politics - national, Sortition and citizens’ juries | Leave a comment

The academy and partners try wellbeing frameworks

I discover that I don’t seem to have cross-posted this old essay previously published in the Mandarin, and since this is my place of record (where I can make notes to myself in the comments of new sources, thoughts or … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The unbearable lightness of grey academia: note to self

Wikipedia defines ‘grey literature’ thus: Materials and research produced by organizations outside of the traditional commercial or academic publishing and distribution channels. Common grey literature publication types include reports (annual, research, technical, project, etc.), working papers, government documents, white papers and evaluations. Organizations that produce grey literature include … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Philosophy | Leave a comment

From repressive tolerance to repressive diversity

Herbert Marcuse coined the expression ‘repressive tolerance’. It took off — as well it might. It’s an important idea, providing one keeps in mind that there are very few situations in which repressive tolerance isn’t better than repressive intolerance! Indeed, showing … Continue reading

Posted in Political theory | 4 Comments