A giant bureaucracy in the making?

The Greater Bay Area mustn’t become a giant bureaucracy (Next Magazine, 2017/8/10, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) Integrating the Pearl River Delta to form a Greater Bay Area conurbation is founded on the compelling logic that the largest urban area in the world, with high incomes, leading manufacturing and education facilities,Continue reading>

Basic Instincts

Basic Instincts (or – The Wisdom of Crowds, Part 2)   No, my title is not taken from the Michael Douglas/Sharon Stone movie of 1992. (That was singular, “Instinct”!) I’m interested, rather, in a range of instincts that citizens of many societies seem to have, that are increasingly overridden byContinue reading>

The Wisdom of Crowds

(As appeared on our July 2017 Newsletter) I take my title from a 2004 book by James Surowiecki. Its subtitle was “Why the Many are Smarter than the Few”. It is an interesting book focusing on examples where the average result of many relatively untutored opinions can lead to quiteContinue reading>

One policy error away from fiscal disaster

(Next Magazine, 2017/7/13, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) One policy error away from fiscal disaster In the west, country after country, government budgets have spiraled out of control, creating persistent deficits and leading to rapidly rising debt. The United States is not known internationally for its extensive welfare state, although thatContinue reading>

What are you worth?

What are you worth? Nick Sallnow-Smith (As appeared on our June 2017 Newsletter) It is often suggested by those skeptical about the value of free markets, that to contribute to the community you need to be active in the world of charities, NGOs, or what is called “public service”. ByContinue reading>

Society as an Octopus

Society as an Octopus (As appeared on our May 2017 Newsletter) Recent research into the way octopuses behave has shown that their nervous system is quite unlike human beings. Instead of its “brain” being confined to a central location, it is in effect “distributed” through its body and legs. ManyContinue reading>