Category Archives: Social

Covid and the lessons of the Dreyfus affair

One can tell many stories of how current times resemble some earlier historical period. The conflict between nationalism and internationalism, as personified by the controversies surrounding Brexit and Trump, has been seen as somewhat of a re-run of the conflict … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus crisis, Education, Films and TV, History, Humour, Information, Life, Social | 29 Comments

Constant distractions are leading to major declines in top-level reasoning. What to do?

Till 20 year ago, IQ scores in the West increased about 3 points per decade ever since the 1920s, a phenomenon known as the “Flynn effect”. That rise in IQ test scores, which have an average of 100 and a … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Employment, Gender, History, Inequality, IT and Internet, Media, Parenting, Public and Private Goods, Science, Social, Uncategorized | 16 Comments

The descent into Darkness of the UK and Victoria. Quo Vadis?

[Bottom line: the conflicting forces now being created in the UK and Australia are truly frightening.] The UK government has just announced a nationwide return of one of the most destructive elements of lock downs: mandatory social isolation. Gatherings of … Continue reading

Posted in bubble, Coronavirus crisis, Cultural Critique, Democracy, Health, History, Inequality, Journalism, Law, Libertarian Musings, Politics - international, Politics - national, Science, Social, Social Policy, Society | 101 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 | 2 Comments

The ongoing wellbeing loss from covid-policies. Sign the protest letter!

The UK Office of National Statistics data on the wellbeing of the British population shows a unprecedented drop of about 10% in average wellbeing in the UK since March 2020. Anxiety levels almost doubled, slowly returning to normal, but wellbeing … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus crisis, Death and taxes, Health, Life, Politics - international, Politics - national, Public and Private Goods, Science, Social | 56 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

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 | 60 Comments