If politics is theatre, one of the defining features of the form is the presence of the on-stage critics – the media, or more specifically, the big name opinion leaders. They would like to imagine themselves as a Greek chorus commenting on the drama, but if they are, they’re a Greek chorus composed of unreliable…Read More The failure of the on-stage critic
So, there is an election coming and apparently it might be decided in Keighley, my home constituency. This is likely to be the third event to occur in the area, after the Tour de France went through in 2014 and Keighley Cougars RLFC won the 1995 second division championship, so I thought I’d devote a…Read More Come, muse, let us sing of Keighley
Is there any point trying to make consumers save the world? One of the most important debates of our time is whether we should approach climate change as a primarily individualistic or collective problem. Individualistic approaches include things like cap-and-trade at the consumer level, carbon taxes imposed on the final consumer (like VAT), shouting at…Read More Coal, the Manski bounds, and the correct choice of Milibands
Why is the Sun so lame these days? Here’s a case study. Overnight everyone was expecting a deluge of incitement to pour forth on the Supreme Court, but when the mountains had finished travailing we got this: This is a mad choice of lead, and a reference to the catchphrase of a TV comedian who…Read More How did the Sun get so weak?
A little more from A User’s Guide. This is from Ballard’s 1971 essay about Ralph Nader. The important point, though, is that Nader is unloading a powerful sense of anxiety and guilt onto a huge range of commonplace activities. Sooner or later, I would guess, these will crystallize around one major subject, a simple formula…Read More Politicizing your lunch
Chris Dillow complains that too many journalists treat politics as theatre. This reminded me of a book. I recently found my copy of J.G. Ballard’s A User’s Guide to the Millennium, his collected essays and criticism, after moving churned it up to the top of my library. A major theme of these writings, especially the…Read More Politics as theatre? More!
So we’re having a moment about John Boyd: The really interesting thing about the Dom Cummings appointment is that we now have someone in charge of No10 who is a devotee of Col. John Boyd, whose central thesis was to confuse your enemy and do the opposite of what they expect (1/4). — Damian McBride…Read More Round and Round the OODA Loop: Folk Boyd and the Brexiters
Chris Dillow discusses why management jobs seem immune to automation despite all the excitement about AI. The problem, I think, is that the current state-of-the-art is very poorly suited to making strategic decisions, for reasons that are inherent in the way it works, and in the nature of the decisions themselves. So we’re training our…Read More Machine learning and bubbles
So we’re all doing the Iran war scare thing again. Where are the US Navy’s aircraft carriers? As always, there is a useful summary here. Whatever John Bolton may say, Abraham Lincoln didn’t deploy last week. In fact she sailed from Norfolk, Virginia on the 1st of April. She had to sail around this time…Read More A check-in on USN carriers
Annoyingly, Adam Elkus is going to delete this thread. increasingly thinking that the best or only justification at this point for people that aren’t techies learning about computer programs is understanding the way in which the social world is being flattened into categories that computers can understand. — QWRhbSBFbGt1cw== (@Aelkus) April 22, 2019 I…Read More Flattening computers into social categorisers