Two days before the election many of the country’s most admired analysts had no idea what was about to happen. Yet within a matter of weeks these same people, unfazed, would be writing articles and giving speeches and being quoted about who was “ahead” and “behind” in the emerging race for the White House in 1996.
…Competing predictions add almost nothing to our ability to solve public problems or to make sensible choices among complex alternatives. Yet such useless distractions have become a specialty of the political press. They are easy to produce, they allow reporters to act as if they possessed special inside knowledge, and there are no consequences for being wrong.” —James Fallows, ‘Why Americans Hate the Media,’ in The Atlantic
Beware angel investors, and all VCs. They won’t let you build a solidly profitable company.
It’s easy to make a simple system complex; it’s pretty much impossible to make a complex system simple. All of us live in a world of contracts and lawyers — and the financial system much more than most. Financial regulation will become simpler the day that contracts become shorter and easier to understand, which is to say, never.
How has the financial-services sector managed to make an ever-greater proportion of total profits over time? By extracting rents from complexity… So while banks opposed Basel III, at least they got increased complexity out of it, which means that the barriers to entry in the industry were raised.” —Felix Salmon, Why we can’t simplify bank regulation
The announcement yesterday by Chief Minister Katy Gallagher to establish a needle exchange in the ACT’s Alexander Maconochie Prison is historic. Politicians need votes like the rest of us need oxygen. And they know that there are no votes in prisons. But prisoners are a major concern for public health and human rights.
Despite prison authorities all over the world doing everything in their power to stop drugs entering prisons, they still get in. And they always will. Charles Manson, the most closely-guarded prisoner in the Western world, was still able to obtain illicit drugs behind bars.” —The opening to this great piece on The Conversation.
The right to have a view is indeed equally shared, but this is does not imply the same for the idea itself. If all ideas are equal, then all ideas are worthless…
[Ideas] should be subject to critical scrutiny and survive only though articulation and argumentation. The point is, ideas are not people. And people are not just their ideas…
To assume that an idea may not be questioned because it is a part of your identity, and that an attack on it is an attack on you, equivalent to a denial of human respect, is a fallacy, and I name it here the “Fallacy of Deepest Offence” (a variety of the strawman fallacy).
It is a blurring of the line between people and ideas. It is a device by which ideas are rendered immune to critical inquiry.
If you want to believe that the world is made of snow, that women are inferior to men or that homosexuality is morally wrong then go ahead. But the instant you take that belief into the public arena, your ideas will be rightfully tested.
The minute you suggest others should believe it too, you will be challenged. When you ask that the taxes of your fellow citizens support your beliefs, you will be resisted. This is exactly how an open society operates and should operate. You are not immune because you are sincere.” —Great piece over here on The Conversation.
Looking forward to seeing this guy at Sydney’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas.