The end of Neoliberalism and the beginning of the venal age? Comment on Crooked Timber

The following comment was made on Crooked Timber by a friend (Tim Scriven). After speaking about it with him I'm reprinting it here with slight modifications as requested: "I have a take on Neoliberalism- it’s pretty poorly informed, but then a lot of people have pretty poorly informed takes on this subject. There are actually … Continue reading The end of Neoliberalism and the beginning of the venal age? Comment on Crooked Timber

GDP undervalues government services

I. Gross domestic product can be calculated in many ways, but one of the most common is: (Government expenditure)+(Consumption)+(Investment)+((Exports)-(Imports)) To see why government expenditure is under-counted consider two countries, one of which provides all of its health care through the public sector, the other through the private sector. In the latter case, health care is … Continue reading GDP undervalues government services

Informal musings on the self-organisation of authoritarianism

You know how everyone has realizations they make far later in life than is normal? This is one of mine. Nonetheless, in the possibility that this essay might be helpful to someone who was similarly slow on the uptake, I've decided to share it. I. I’ve come to realize that most pro-authoritarian action can be self-organised- … Continue reading Informal musings on the self-organisation of authoritarianism

The paradox of high expectations: The more you demand, the less you get

In various fairly common situations, demanding more can result in receiving less. I. The kinds of situation I am talking about are ubiquitous, but we'll start with employee hiring. Suppose you are running a job search, and are primarily interested in some desirable talent T. Perhaps T is years of experience using some application or … Continue reading The paradox of high expectations: The more you demand, the less you get

On critical social-technological points

1. Critical Social-Technological Points I want introduce the idea of a critical social-technological point (CSTP). A CSTP is a technological discovery or implementation after which the existing hierarchies and ruling class of a society is locked in, in the sense that removing them from power, or even resisting them in any measurably important way, becomes … Continue reading On critical social-technological points

Technological unemployment isn’t the point

I. At the moment there’s a huge debate over whether or not advancing robotics and artificial intelligence is likely to lead to ongoing technological unemployment- a permanent increase in unemployment due to automation. For the most part though, I think this discussion over technological unemployment elides the scarier prospect- technological marginalisation. By technological marginalisation I … Continue reading Technological unemployment isn’t the point

The Catholic church is dangerously mistaken about intersex people

I. TLDR: The notion that every person can be clearly categorised as either male or female on the basis of biology appears to be increasingly popular in Catholic circles, but the biology and medical science disagree At least if Father Tad Pacholczyk of the National Catholic Bioethics Education Center is correct about current theology, the … Continue reading The Catholic church is dangerously mistaken about intersex people

The Heritage Foundation Economic Freedom Index is bad

If you enjoy this post, check out my (free) book https://deponysum.com/2020/03/30/something-to-read-in-quarantine-essays-2018-to-2020/ TLDR: The problem with freedom indexes is this. They are aggregates of separate variables, some of which indicate small government, others of which indicate what would uncontroversially be regarded as ‘good government’. It is the good government indicators, not the small government indicators, which … Continue reading The Heritage Foundation Economic Freedom Index is bad

Thinking about political persuasion from a left-Wing point of view

1. The American left cannot win without persuading large swathes of the right & centre There’s a comforting lie that some parts of the American left like to tell themselves. We don’t need to worry about convincing conservatives- we just need to get non-voters to vote. This has never rung true to me. What evidence … Continue reading Thinking about political persuasion from a left-Wing point of view