Graeme’s

The philistines are running the asylum

Posted by Graeme in Politics at 11:05 am on Monday, 18 August 2014

This post was sparked off by a comment a teacher made about the British government’s education policy, but the point I want to make is that this is the result of a globally accepted change in values. There is a link between education policy, how prisoners are treated, arts policy and more. (more…)

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How to fix the deficit, immigration and growth.

Posted by Graeme in Economics,Politics at 12:28 pm on Monday, 18 March 2013

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…)

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Alcohol deaths public health and fuzzy thinking

Posted by Graeme in Health,Politics,Wrong at 11:38 am on Wednesday, 22 February 2012

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.

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Was Marx right?

Posted by Graeme in Economics,Politics at 9:20 am on Tuesday, 15 February 2011

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…)

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The plutocracy is no meritocracy

Posted by Graeme in Economics,Politics at 6:52 am on Tuesday, 25 January 2011

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…)

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Why democracy will die

Posted by Graeme in Politics at 11:26 am on Friday, 10 December 2010

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…)

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The internet as an instrument of control

Posted by Graeme in Internet,Media,Politics at 12:46 pm on Tuesday, 7 December 2010

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…)

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Financial models and climate models

Posted by Graeme in Politics at 8:59 am on Saturday, 6 November 2010

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…)

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How to get someone (innocent) jailed

Posted by Graeme in Politics,Software at 3:55 pm on Monday, 13 September 2010

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…)

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Do the British really hate foreigners that much?

Posted by Graeme in Economics,Politics at 1:01 pm on Wednesday, 8 September 2010

The government has so far come up with two ideas to reduce cap immigration, both of which would be highly damaging to the country:

  1. Let fewer students in
  2. 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…)

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