Category Archives: Economics and public policy

From being to seeming: why empirical scientists failed in times of Covid.

There have long been scientists who were celebrities in their own time. Galileo, Keppler, Goodall, Linneus, Cousteau, Darwin, Smith, Leeuwenhoek, Da Vinci, Ibn Khaldhun, Curie, and many others in the last 800 years were followed and admired. They in many … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus crisis, Cultural Critique, Democracy, Economics and public policy, Education, Geeky Musings, Health, Life, Philosophy, Politics - national, Religion, Science, Social Policy, Society, Theatre | 15 Comments

Public servants and political partisanship

Every now and again I’m asked to contribute to The Mandarin as part of their Brains Trust. Here’s my latest contribution in seeking to answer this question: Where is the boundary between their designated public duty and the apparent expectation … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Democracy, Economics and public policy | 1 Comment

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

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

The Evaluator General

I recently sent a couple of emails explaining the Evaluator General and also did an extended interview explaining the ideas in the context of Matt Jones’ Public Policy class at Melbourne Uni. The first email below is the one I … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy, Ethics, Isegoria | 10 Comments

Covid strategies for Australia: herd immunity or quarantine land?

Let’s talk about some of the covid policy options facing Australia in the coming months and years. It seems to me we can either grasp the nettle and accept we will get a wave of highly visible covid-19 deaths before … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus crisis, Death and taxes, Democracy, Economics and public policy, Education, Employment, Health, History, Journalism, Libertarian Musings, Life, Politics - international, Politics - national | 16 Comments