Category Archives: Cultural Critique

May the farce be with you: Dyson Heydon (or is that Heydon Dyson?) edition

A quick follow up on my “May the farce be with you” article on how the oligarchy got George Pell off on charges of sexual molestation. One that Graham Young rated thus: One of your worst posts Nicholas. You show … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Law | 10 Comments

What kind of crowd are we now seeing? The 5 surprises in this pandemic.

There are 5 aspects of the covid-19 pandemic I really did not see coming, all pointing to a phenomenon that European sociologists of a century ago spent their whole lives describing, coming up with theories about crowds and their behaviour … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus crisis, Cultural Critique, Economics and public policy, History, Life, Philosophy, Politics - international, Politics - national, Science, Social, Society, Theatre | 117 Comments

Accountability from above and below

Below is an essay I wrote in late 2018 but it wasn’t published on the Mandarin till a year ago. I should have published it here, but don’t seem to have. It’s the ‘prequel’ to – the problematic from which … Continue reading

Posted in Bullshit, Cultural Critique, Economics and public policy | 4 Comments

Covid Humour to lighten the load

If you, like me, believe our collective hysteria is needlessly causing the world tens of millions of deaths and enormous unhappiness, you surely need a bit of humour to keep going. So let’s view the whole crisis via a different … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus crisis, Cultural Critique, Death and taxes, Humour, Libertarian Musings, Life | Leave a comment

Culture and language as public goods

Herewith a weekend half-hour read. Comments and corrections appreciated. A culture survives principally, I think, by the power of its institutions to bind and loose men in the conduct of their affairs with reasons that sink so deep into the … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Economics and public policy, Public and Private Goods | 5 Comments

How can the University of Queensland recover from the Drew Pavlou affair?

The management of the University of Queensland, and in particular Peter Hoj and Peter Varghese, stand condemned today by the international media, by both Labor and Liberal politicians, by both left-wing and right-wing Australians, by its own students, and by … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Democracy, Humour, Journalism, Politics - national, Review, Science, Social, Social Policy | 57 Comments

On Corona/Covid-19, herd immunity and WELLBY tradeoffs: key predictions and numbers

[in progress: will add more references, links and latest numbers when I get the time] In this note, I want to deal with three related issues: the main lessons on the corona virus from the reported deaths across countries with … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus crisis, Cultural Critique, Death and taxes, Democracy, Economics and public policy, Education, Employment, Health, IT and Internet, Libertarian Musings, Life, Politics - international, Politics - national, Science, Social, Social Policy, Society | 52 Comments