Tag Archives: opinion
Next week on Facebook I intend to write about the Nanny State and while use of the term ‘Nanny State’ may be new in 1898 Woodrow Wilson was to write in his book The State; Elements of Historical and Practical Politics, No student of history can wisely censure those who protest against state paternalism.
Next Wednesday’s article is an op-ed in The New York Times titled “Three Cheers for the Nanny State”, that dismisses principled concerns about paternalism and presents arguments in favour of it¹. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: I used to blog a lot on a now defunct site called My Telegraph, as did a chap who I think called himself Atrium. Eventually Atrium disappeared in a fit of pique, I think it was because he had such little response to his many cri de coeur regarding his opinions. Observing Atrium was a salutary lesson that taught me a lot about blogging and I think I understand why he left My Telegraph in such a huff. It was (at least in a large part) an ‘age’ thing, Atrium was most probably in my peer group, retired and clearly with a lot of time to spend on the social media. He had forgotten that as a younger man, when in a job and less time on his hands, any talk of putting the world to rights was invariably euphemistic and tempered by a blind faith that the democracy of our public administration lay in hands of the electorate.
My piquancy (I would hope) is not only tempered by an ever increasing understanding of the social media but also by the limitations to my curmudgeonliness. However, a recent article in MoneyWeek with the title ‘A Credit Score That Judges Your Politics’ (see Monday’s article) caused me to have an Atrium moment, a cri de coeur if you will. Imagine a world where many of your daily activities were constantly monitored and evaluated: what you buy at the shops and online; where you are at any given time; who your friends are and how you interact with them; how many hours you spend watching content or playing video games; and what bills and taxes you pay—or not (see Tuesday’s article). Think of the world that you are already living in!
This week on Facebook: While listening to a lecture by John Maynard Keynes the famed economist, Peter Drucker realised that Keynes and all the brilliant economics students in the room were interested in the behaviour of commodities while he was interested in the behaviour of people. An epiphany that would eventually lead to his career as a management consultant. Nevertheless, both sought an approach to economic growth that addressed income inequality without advocating that income be distributed equally. Read more of this post
All Fool’s Day seems an appropriate time to post a short piece about; Morituri te Salutant, Jean-Léon Gérôme, John Donne, Christina Rossetti, Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, Winnie the Pooh, an allusion to H. Rider Haggard (well, more Horace Rumpole really): leading to the ‘Money Advice Service’ on UK funeral costs. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: Is prosperity and wealth the same thing I asked myself a year ago and concluded that it depended on how you defined each word and who that definition applied to:
Oxfam thinks that $8-coffee-drinking millennials with student debt are amongst the world’s neediest and they are if you define wealth without taking into account its context. A millennial who can indulge in an $8 cup of coffee may not be wealthy but is certainly prosperous. The Scramble for Growth! (Aasof’s Reflections)
Google provide a programme called the Ngram Viewer, which enables the tracing of words or phrases as they have been used in books over the centuries. At a recent regular meeting with an ex-colleague of mine, we discussed wealth, prosperity and happiness, in the context of growth and inequality. The problem withe Ngram is the context in which the words are being used, by whom, when and for what purpose. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: In September 2016 I posted Inequality & Gini Lorenz, perhaps it was this post that led to an acquaintance finding himself embroiled in discussions about (essentially) wealth distribution. This eventually led to my publishing A Quality of Life in July 2017.
Last week my post on Henry George & Global Inequality, convinced me that global equality, or even a national equality, is not a goal that voters in democratic elections strive for. While there is a lot of media coverage given over to global inequality there is little indication that it has prompted any mass national desire for equality. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: Has been given over mostly to Henry George, in his heyday Henry George was very popular, with his ideas inspiring passionate debate among young intellectuals. After George published Progress and Poverty in 1879, a political movement grew in the United States around his work. The notion that Henry George promoted of a Land Value Tax (LVT) has now become a global issue, with the Henry George Foundation having offices in many countries. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: Increasingly there is a notion that our cyborg traits are in conflict with those traits that determine our ethics and that of our humanity, and yet for the centuries, scientists speculated that we could tap into the body’s system to restore lost functions or enhance our powers, like machines. The concept of acupuncture, which began in China at least 2,500 years ago, premised that there are essential patterns of energy flow (Qi) throughout the body. Modern human cybernetic enhancements emulate the stimuli flowing throughout the body by creating pulses of electrical energy.
Perhaps it is always the human creative ability to form images, ideas, and sensations in the mind without any immediate input of the senses, and an innate ability to invent partial or complete personal realms within the mind from sense perceptions of a shared world that has led to our success as a species. Such imaginings are readily recognised in an artistic world, for example; literature, writing, art, poetry, but imagineering is hardly ever given recognition and credit in the technological world. Yet it may well be the artistic world of imagineering that has led to this world of cyborgs.
This week on Facebook: Having thought that AI had been laid to rest for while (at least by me) the notion of thought control and AI caught my attention. No not killing a goat, although the way that AI and the human interface is going made me wonder when an implant makes us a cyborg. At my local Asian takeaway ‘dim mak‘ is not on the menu, I know, I asked. The attractive young lady behind the counter never said a word — she just touched me gently. It hardly induced la petite mort, then at my age any approaches by an ingénue would be called a success if it only fired my imagination (that is if I could only remember those experiences I was supposed to imagine). Read more of this post
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