Category Archives: Philosophy

Pyramids of lies: Some more from Stefan Zweig

I continue listening to Stefan Zweig’s description of the disasters of the twentieth century a passage of which I’ll reproduce below. My big essay on the Productivity Commission’s Draft Indigenous Evaluation Strategy represented a bit of intellectual progress for me. … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, History, Philosophy, Political theory | 13 Comments

The more things change … Stefan Zweig on the difference in mood attending the outbreak the two World Wars

I’ve been listening to The World of Yesterday, the memoirs Stefan Zweig. Zweig was probably the best-known author in 1930s Europe and produced a mountain of material. Essays, fiction, history, poetry, translations, you name it. Today few know of him, … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, History, Philosophy, Political theory | 3 Comments

Founding brothers: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson

Writing about sortition, equality and merit, I spent a good part of today reading the last chapter of a book I read a decade or so ago on the relationship John Adams and Thomas Jefferson had in their dotage  – … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, History, Philosophy, Political theory | 3 Comments

Uncertainty, Part 1: McGurk

As one the best illustrations of the way our minds deal with uncertainty, consider the following video. Please listen and watch at least 30 seconds so you can experience the three sequences of spoken words. Pretty much all humans who … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy, Life, Media, Philosophy, Political theory, Science, Social, Theatre | 21 Comments

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 | 15 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