Thursday 27 July 2017

Is Inequality Entering Australian Politics?

These, Scott Morrison, are the facts (source)

"Nothing was given from above by the elites and the powerful. It was only ever gained from below." Jeremy Corbyn.

According to Leigh Sales, ABC News TV 7.30 presenter, inequality is finally bound to enter Australian political discourse. Next year is federal election time and the Australian Labor Party,  following in the footsteps of Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders, could be positioning itself to focus their campaign on inequality.

As an Australian Marxist worker, I should be elated. Wages are set in stone, profits are over the roof, inequality rising: we hear that even from the most unlikely experts.

However, I'm skeptic. I'll tell you why.

Tuesday 25 July 2017

Non-Technical Review of the "10,000 Year Explosion".


Nope. I didn't write it. I'm neither a qualified nor an impartial judge for Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending's 2009 "The 10,000 Year Explosion".

That out of the way, I'll tell you what I did. I did something better: I searched the net for reviews to outsource the task. This is what I found.

Friday 21 July 2017

The Angel and Linkin Park.

Linkin Park's "Burn it Down" video still speaks a lot to me.

It matches well with Ricardo Bellver's "Fuente del Ángel Caído" in the Buen Retiro Park in Madrid:


RIP Chester Bennington.

Image Credits:[A] Detail of the Ángel Caído de Bellver, crowning the eponymous monument in the Parque del Buen Retiro in Madrid, Spain. Author: Laussy. My usage of the file does not suggest its author's endorsement of me or of the usage itself. Licenced under  GNU Free Documentation License. Wikipedia.

Saturday 15 July 2017

The Uninhabitable Earth.

In a series of articles for the New York Magazine David Wallace-Wells describes the consequences of global warming. It's a nightmarish scenario, and Wallace-Wells throws everything at his readers, even the kitchen sink.

Beyond raising sea levels, Wallace-Wells reminds us of other possible effects of increasing temperature: large swathes of the planet, too hot for human life, could become uninhabitable, mega-storms and mega-droughts, mass migrations, crops failing, ocean acidification, mass extinction on land and in the water, new diseases or return of old ones, military conflicts, CO2-induced stupidification of humanity.

Is that a realistic scenario?

Saturday 8 July 2017

Australian Wages: Theory and Reality.

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. The picture below -- courtesy of the ABC News' Andrew Probyn/Reserve Bank of Australia -- shows how wage growth forecasts made by the RBA (skinny colourful lines) compare to actual wage growth (fat black line):


Sunday 2 July 2017

Fitzpatrick: What's Left?

Reading Sheila Fitzpatrick's "What's Left?" (a multi-review written for the London Review of Books) was an unexpectedly interesting -- indeed, almost gratifying -- experience, partly because she is a subtle writer, partly because of the books she discusses, and partly for what she says about them and their subject matter.

2017 is the centenary of the Russian Revolution and the books Fitzpatrick reviews are about it: as you might imagine, there is no dearth of writers intent on cashing in, while displaying their courage denouncing those once-again hated Russkies. To put it bluntly, I expected the wordier title "A non-Marxist Historian Reviews 5 anti-Marxist Books" would have fit her essay better.

I was wrong… kinda.