It’s not just a level playing field; it’s an ethical one, too

There is a phrase that pops up occasionally when talking about free trade, economics and ― increasingly ― Brexit. And it’s a phrase I don’t like: a level playing field. It refers to the idea that different economic entities should trade fairly with each other, where if one country pays its workers fairly, its produce… Continue reading It’s not just a level playing field; it’s an ethical one, too

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3 catastrophic problems with Robotic AI, and 2 solutions

The threat of AI can be summarised into three points, and each of those points assumes something slightly different about AI. There is an economic, political or physical threat from AI, directly. I have no intention of scaremongering in this post, but I do think these are questions that need to be talked about and… Continue reading 3 catastrophic problems with Robotic AI, and 2 solutions

Brexit (1) Leaving the European Union is leaving the European economy (and that’s bad)

The European Union is basically a trade agreement, with a few foreign policy rules thrown in. And the trade agreement is a good one: is outlines the bare minimum requirements to partake of the benefits of EU trade. It stops a member state selling out its environment and its people to undercut the European market.… Continue reading Brexit (1) Leaving the European Union is leaving the European economy (and that’s bad)

Bombing Syria? Really? (Part 2: Looking after British National Security?)

I am going to avoid the apparent and terrifying implication in the decision to bomb Syria to protect British National security: that foreign lives are somehow worth less than British lives. It’s a real implication, as the government has agreed to an unknown body count of foreign innocents to stave off terror attacks on British… Continue reading Bombing Syria? Really? (Part 2: Looking after British National Security?)

Game Theory, Rational Acting, Politics and Nature

Neoclassical economics perceives nature in terms of commodities: farm the land, trawl the sea, mine the crust; sell the stuff. Win. We’ve even calibrated economics to look at “winners” and ignore “losers”, so we are constantly selecting false stories of promise to continue selling the promise of economics. We often look at a hydroelectric dam… Continue reading Game Theory, Rational Acting, Politics and Nature

The UK as an LEDC

The state of being a less economically developed country (an LEDC) is not a disease with a clear cause and diagnosis. It is a syndrome; a group of symptoms taken together that build a bigger picture. These symptoms are to do with the nature of employment and the services the government is able to offer.… Continue reading The UK as an LEDC

The Cartels want the Drugs to be illegal

Illegal drugs cartels make huge amounts of tax-free money. If you don’t believe me, I know a small one-man operation that makes £11,000 every three months. Profit. If the ‘legalise drugs’ debate were to start again in the UK, and said one-man operation who I know had any business sense, that one-man operation would fight… Continue reading The Cartels want the Drugs to be illegal