Category Archives: Philosophy

What to expect during a cold war with China?

In 2005 I did my first economic projections of the major powers (published in a textbook) and concluded from the trends then that China would have a larger economy in purchasing power terms than the US in 2017, which is … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, History, Philosophy, Politics - international, Society | 14 Comments

The sound and the fury signifying nothing: some observations on the new politics

Back in the day, (which is to say for most of the 20th century until things began changing in the 1980s, each of the major political parties had a few percentage points of the population as members. In addition to … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Philosophy, Political theory, Sortition and citizens’ juries | 8 Comments

Rescuing humanity from Neo-liberalism: by John Burnheim

In his powerful critique of Neo-liberalism, Nicholas Gruen draws heavily on the work of Michael Polanyi. The following essay is an attempt to carry on and fill out Polanyi’s work. Like many liberal economists of the mid-twentieth century, but more … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Economics and public policy, Philosophy, Political theory | 1 Comment

Histories of the Great Panic.

How will Western historians in 2050 remember 2020? In scenario 1, “The Great Panic, a lost generation”, I sketch my best guess. Scenario 2, “A job well done” is the one I imagine many current Western governments hope is told. … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus crisis, Cultural Critique, Dance, Geeky Musings, Health, History, Humour, Innovation, Libertarian Musings, Life, Philosophy, Politics - international, Politics - national, Public and Private Goods, Social Policy, Society | 91 Comments

Ought Anchored to Is: Morality As A Spontaneous Order

It’s a supreme finding of Hume’s clever reasoning that ought cannot be derived from is. The claim is so irrefutable that it has become a truism that acts as a bulwark against proponents of the status quo. But like a … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy | 23 Comments

Will busy offices return eventually? Of course they will.

[message: the “stay at home” firms will see their bored and lonely good young staff jump ship to the hip, drunk, snorting, and cavorting hard-work hard-play offices everyone loves to complain about.] The estimate from Transport for London is that … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Dance, Geeky Musings, Innovation, Libertarian Musings, Life, Philosophy, Society | 3 Comments

Could lock-downs lead to a baby boom in several Western countries? If so, why?

For months now, demographers and other social scientists have been predicting a covid baby bust because marriages were postponed, pubs were closed, anxiety levels were up, measured fertility intentions were down, sexual activity went down (in some reports), and economic … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus crisis, Dance, Geeky Musings, Health, Life, Parenting, Philosophy, Science, Social, Social Policy, Society | 5 Comments