Category Archives: Ethics

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

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The Fertility Rate: the Best Dam(n) Wellbeing Index Going Around?

Valiant attempts have been made to measure happiness and wellbeing. People much smarter than me have developed fancy indices, and people even smarter than that, such as our own Nicholas Gruen, has called bullshit on many of them. What I … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics, Health, Life, Philosophy, Social Policy, Society | 13 Comments

Polarisation and the Case for Citizens’ Juries

Cross posted from Quillette from 16 Feb 2019, but now behind a paywall. When a conversation is not a conversation: party political discourse in the early 21st century I It looks like liberal democracy is falling apart. The chaos of … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Ethics, Political theory, Politics - international, Sortition and citizens’ juries, Web and Government 2.0 | 6 Comments

Fast foodification: what is it, what’s driving it, how do we stop it?

In this discussion, Peyton Bowman and I discuss my term ‘fast-foodification’. I coined the word trying to describe modern politics. The techniques used by politicians and their professional enablers are optimised to attract votes in the same way that McDonalds and … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Democracy, Ethics, Philosophy, Political theory | 1 Comment

Czesław Miłosz: Alpha, the Moralist

Czesław Miłosz is a Polish writer and Nobel Laureate who first came to Western attention in the early 1950s with the publication of The Captive Mind one of the earliest exposes of the nightmare of Soviet domination of Eastern Europe … Continue reading

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Practical steps towards Ivan Illich’s world

I. Introduction Owing to quite a bit of recent hoopla about him, I’ve recently been reading Ivan Illich. Like the Molière character who discovers he’s been speaking prose his whole life, I discover I’ve been thinking a little like Illich for … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Democracy, Economics and public policy, Education, Ethics, Health, History, Innovation, Philosophy, Political theory, Sortition and citizens’ juries | 6 Comments

The Great Covid Panic: now out!

It’s here, the booklet I am sure you have all been waiting for. The one which Gigi Foster and Michael Baker slaved over for 10 months. It is also on Kindle. It is dedicated to all the victims of the … Continue reading

Posted in Bargains, Coronavirus crisis, Dance, Death and taxes, Democracy, Economics and public policy, Education, Employment, Ethics, Health, History, Humour, Inequality, Isegoria, IT and Internet, Journalism, Law, Libertarian Musings, Life, Literature, Media, Medical, Parenting, Philosophy, Political theory, Politics - international, Politics - national, Print media, Public and Private Goods, Religion, Review, Science, Social, Social Policy, Society, Sortition and citizens’ juries, Terror, Theatre, Travel, WOW! - Amazing | 7 Comments