My idea, intended for the UK, but possibly applicable elsewhere, will generate a huge amount of government revenue, complete change immigration, and stimulate economic growth. The idea is a very simple: auction residence visas. (more…)
This article arguing (yet again) for the government to introduce minimum prices and other strict controls on alcohol consumption. As usual, it contains fallacies, fails to provide important information, and is generally rather vague.
One reason that Marx’s prediction that capitalism would lead to increasing inequality, and then failure, was wrong, was that advancing technology lead to increases in prosperity for almost everyone. Slowing technological change will mean an increase in inequality, so Marx may have another chance to be proved right. (more…)
Many of the spate of recent articles on the super-rich, such as the influential one in The Atlantic have accepted the idea that the plutocracy is meritocratic: the wealth is earned. I have my doubts, and had a look at how and where the richest of the super-rich made their money. (more…)
In the 1990s it looked as though democracy was spreading irresistibly. Not only do I think this trend has reversed, but that there will be very little public objection to it, and the push-back against it will be comparatively little even from those who seek to oppose it. It will happen slowly, but democracy is dying. (more…)
Conventional wisdom has long been that the internet (and IT and modern telecommunications) are hard for governments to control and empower anyone willing to use them — activists and protesters in particular. I have long been sceptical, but I think its now clear I was right. (more…)
A few years ago we were assured that complex financial models used by banks could be relied on to correctly assess financial risk. This was supposed to ensure that banks would stay solvent, and the financial system stable. It turned out that insufficient back-testing, subtle pressure on those building the models to produce the “right” results, and the intrinsic problems of complex models, meant that the models were far from good enough.
We are also asked to trust complex models of climate change that predict rising temperatures. I am inclined to distrust complex models in general, but leaving that aside, are these likely to suffer the shortcomings of the bank’s risk models? (more…)
The fact that people can be convicted using evidence that only exists in electronic form makes it stunningly easy to frame someone, if you can get brief physical access to their computer, or you can fool them into inserting a malicious CD or USB drive into their computer. Here are some methods of doing it. (more…)
The government has so far come up with two ideas to reduce cap immigration, both of which would be highly damaging to the country:
- Let fewer students in
- Reduce the number of foreign workers
Take the first as it has had less attention. Educating foreign students is highly profitable for Britain and earns huge amount of money. It is like an extended, and far more profitable, version of tourism. (more…)
This is partly the result of a discussion on Slashdot on why terorists are disproportionately engineers, and partly a follow up to my previous post about the staggering incompetence of most terrorists. There is also the issue of how the media and politicians actively help terrorists achieve their goals. (more…)