Improve your intellectual hygiene with this quick exercise.

When can we apply absolutist and relativist thinking?

We could only ever hope to make correct absolute judgements in simple, well-defined situations. Only if we know everything that can be known about a given situation with an absolute certainty can we allow ourselves to form a black-and-white, fixed answer. Some math- or chess problems are good areas to make absolute judgements in — and only because the rules governing numbers/chess figures and the possibilities of their manipulations are known, clear, well-defined, all-encompassing and stable. I wouldn’t question the authority of a chess grandmaster if he says the white wins in…


My state has an elite police unit called “fixated threat assessment centre” (not many know about it — apparently, preventing crime attracts no headlines). They have specialist police, forensic mental health clinicians and analysts specialised in the area. So, why the need to start a such a specialised police grouping?

Apparently we worked out that there are people who feel (often factually correctly) that they’ve been wronged and denied justice. At some stage, their or their loved one’s life got derailed by an injustice (say, unfair dismissal, covered-up assault, or just a parking ticket issued in error) which, sometimes coupled…


Warning: If you aren’t ready to change a lot, or maybe everything you thought you know about Communism, you probably won’t enjoy this article, nor be able to stick with it until the end.

I find the moment discussions turn a tiny bit nuanced and include ideas like planning the economy or taking social outcomes into the calculations, dilettante ideologues like to dismiss them using breezy rhetoric of the type “we all know what happened under communism”. While that arrogantly breezy style is good most of the time for covering up lack of actual knowledge, it is an automatic red…


Normally, it is governments that are tasked to look out for the common good and battling the general societal ills, but that is increasingly less true. The philanthrocapitalists, people who would lose the most from genuine social change have, using the weight of their extreme wealth, placed themselves in charge of social change, altering how we think about everything concerning our personal and societal well-being.

Andrew Carnegie’s 1889 seminal essay on the topic called “Wealth” (popularly called “Gospel of Wealth”) has provided the intellectual fuel, which can be summarised as “The rich need freedom as they are the best at…


A) Libertarians

Even arch-libertarian John Stuart Mill concedes that “opinions lose their immunity if expressing them instigates a violent act”. An example cited in his main work “On Liberty” (1859) takes us back in time: an opinion that corn-dealers are starvers of the poor…may justly incur punishment when delivered orally to an excited mob assembled before the house of a corn dealer. But, according to Mill, same opinion would be ok to be circulated in the press. So, according to his definition, when radio propagandists in Rwanda are egging Hutus on to kill even more Tutsis, with 100,000s more killed as a…


Kings used to assert their authority as “divine”, and therefore not challengeable. Today, a bodiless idea called The Market rules the same way. We are subtly conditioned to think of this perfection existing somewhere in the universe, undetectable yet all pervasive. By now, we all instinctively “know”, don’t we, that whenever a government tries to interfere with it (say, aiming to reducing inequality or insecurity), we pay through “distortions” and “lower efficiencies”. This worldview changes everything. For example, if not with the program, you may think that in the US during the great depression there were appalling, long breadlines and…


Inflation is about demand, not supply

About 90 years ago, British economist Keynes already knew that at times when demand for real resources (land, labour, physical capital) compared to supply is low, DEMAND, and hence the economy can and needs to be stimulated by spending more (created, if need be) money on activities making use of those real resources. It is safe (under these circumstances, the fiscal stimulus will not cause excessive inflation) and effective. Moreover, it is ONLY demand-stimulus that will work — no demand, no economy. No matter how much supply-side stimulus is provided or money is created — the great depression was not…


Old world’s approach: managing differences down or up from top

I grew up in a made-up container-country in the west-Balkans populated by patchwork of nations that often differ only in tiny, microscopic ways. Their languages ranging from similar to practically same, the religions for most just various flavours of Christianity. Post WWII leadership played down hard the ethnic and religious differences, and as a result, the historically divided, poor but newly united place undertook rapid economic growth. Growth was so rapid that in short 35 years after WWII living standards approximated the then average level of today’s EU block. …

10AM Jam

Lifelong learning in technology, economics, sociology, music and travel

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