Category Archives: Uncategorized

Vaccine delay: is Australia accidentally doing the right thing?

The federal government has overpromised and underdelivered on the COVID-19 vaccine. It deserves to be criticised for that. But delaying immunisation means that Australia may — albeit inadvertently — be doing the right thing. Vaccine nationalism was always to be expected … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 36 Comments

The Toyota Production System: a milestone and revelation in human affairs, or just a rightward shift of the supply curve?

About a year ago, I happened upon the video above and it reminded me of the revelation that the Toyota production system was to me when I first encountered it in 1983. I was working for Industry Minister John Button … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Historical analogies for the covid-mania

“men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses more slowly, and one by one.” MacKay, 1841. Right now, London and much of Europe … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus crisis, Cultural Critique, Death and taxes, Economics and public policy, Employment, History, Libertarian Musings, Political theory, Politics - international, Science, Social Policy, Uncategorized | 49 Comments

7 Questions and hypotheses for 2021

2020 was certainly a roller coaster for a social scientist, full of surprises. Let me not once again bemoan the increasingly coordinated attack on all sources of vitality in Western civilisation, but look ahead and openly wonder about what 2021 … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus crisis, Cultural Critique, Democracy, Economics and public policy, Humour, IT and Internet, Medical, Politics - international, Politics - national, Science, Social, Social Policy, Uncategorized | 20 Comments

Post COVID in the public service

I was asked to respond to this question by the Mandarin as part of their ‘select committee’ of worthies (note: the link is behind the ‘Premium’ pay-wall).  After the year that we have had, what should be the public sector’s … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Another neoliberal: another neoliberalism?

I have now finished the second draft of an essay which I began intending it for publication in some international magazine like The Atlantic Monthly. It’s about Michael Polanyi, who was in the founding generation of neoliberals. As I briefly outlined here, he developed … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Three lessons on Chinese culture and politics

The animosity between the Chinese and Australian authorities is heating up, so we Westerners need to understand some of Chinese culture and politics. I do not have all the answers, but some 10 years of working and teaching on China … Continue reading

Posted in History, Life, Science, Social, Society, Uncategorized | 40 Comments