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Technological unemployment

This thoughtful piece in the Economist examines the prospects for technological unemployment and a continuation of the trend by which income gains go to owners of capital. Economists have conventionally rejected this idea but recent trends in developed countries – the failure of US wages to grow for 4 decades – suggest that economic theory […]

Sophie Mirabella

SM is to join the University of Melbourne as an instructor in politics – the practicalities of public policy. I’d like to write something smart-arsed and cutting about this appointment but I am lost for words. “Disgraceful” will do.

Powerful university people

Important administrative people in universities (Vice Chancellors, Deans and their lackeys) often don’t need to argue sensibly. Their authority gives every remark they make significance no matter how banal, wrong or tautological (“we will do what is appropriate” etc.). Their inability to connect with those over whom they rule suggests an aura of power, authority […]

Innocent Bystander Syrah 2012

I am always a bit put off when Aussi shiraz producers call their wines “syrah” but in this case the description is accurate. The wine has a lot in common with those of France. It is soft, slightly peppery, with an immaculately perfect shiraz finish. It won’t rip the tartar off your teeth and at […]

EPA rejects review of WA shark cull

There has been much uninformed criticism of the WA cull. Similar culling practices already occur in NSW and Queensland. But the EPA also gets it wrong. The EPA boss says that public opinion is irrelevant to issues of environmental protection a statement that is entirely false. In fact the way most environmental protection measures are […]

A carbon capture & storage (CCS) success story

This New Scientist article is worth thinking about. A CCS plant in Canada (Boundary Dam) is about to become a working coal-fired power station with 90% of its CO2 emissions captured. It will be the first commercial scale CCS power station. A second plant in Mississippi that utilises coal gasification will test another energy source. […]

Trolley Problem

I have been reading Thomas Cathcart’s, “The Trolley Problem or Would You Throw the Fat Guy Off the Bridge”. This is one of two popular book length accounts of this well-known problem in ethics. It’s a fun read that taught me a lot about utilitarianism and its problems. Many books on moral philosophy are dull […]

Katie Herzig

At the Fillmore singing “Songbird”.