Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hidden Unpersuaders: How we mistook the digital giants for all-powerful manipulators

The twin threats of “hidden persuasion” and artificial intelligence have now convinced most of us that Google and its ilk are almost uniquely powerful. These threats are overrated. The digital giants can do less than we fear – and we … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Economics and public policy, Information, IT and Internet, Media, regulation, Society, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Standards Part Two: Comparative Standards

Standards: continued from Part One. I. Introduction Why is this man smiling? He’s smiling because he is Charles Francis Richter and he came up with the Richter scale. And if you have come up with the Richter scale, every time … Continue reading

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The Melbourne Suburban Rail Loop’s fragile business case shows governments need an Evaluator-General

We have a broken process for evaluating costly government investments. The evolving plan for an underground railway through Melbourne’s middle suburbs reminds us that we need something better. The Victoria government is currently in the early stages of building what … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Michael Polanyi, Karl Popper and the philosophy of science (with an eye to blockchain)

I’ve been working on a joint paper with someone else about blockchain. One way the paper might develop would be to argue that the discussion of DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations) using blockchain technology should now be cognisant of the chasm … Continue reading

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A letter to Scandinavia

Dear Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Iceland (Scandinavia), First off, thank you for the last 18 months. Almost alone in ‘the West’, you have either avoided covid madness completely (Sweden) or at least regained your sanity more quickly (the rest). … Continue reading

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Time to Dissent

I have been fully vaccinated. I wear a mask. I believe that lockdowns drove the number of infections in Melbourne to zero. I scan the QR code whenever I have the chance. When I go to the supermarket, it is … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 55 Comments

What is managed care and can it help fix the Australian private health sector?

This is an edited version of a piece published in Crikey on 2 July 2021.  It looks like Australian health funds will get more say in how care is delivered in the future if the ACCC’s draft decision giving health fund Nib … Continue reading

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