Category Archives: Ethics

Altruism comes from a model – the virtues from life

Models, windows, reductionism and pluralism We’re familiar with the idea that thought creates ‘models’ of reality. So it’s easy to slip into thinking that our task is then to just make our models better and better, i.e. more accurate representations … Continue reading

Posted in Ask Troppo's Love Gods, Cultural Critique, Ethics, Philosophy, Political theory | 25 Comments

Keeping a cool head – thinking about the covid-19 crisis: a guest post from Toby Phillips

This post is a direct response and rebuttal to the recent ‘Has the coronavirus panic cost us at least 10 million lives already?’ by Paul Fritjers. Paul’s post takes the current covid-19 crisis, and uses some haphazard multiplication to create … Continue reading

Posted in Best From Elsewhere, Death and taxes, Democracy, Economics and public policy, Employment, Ethics, Politics - international, Politics - national | 5 Comments

The Weinstein case: is #Metoo delivering justice?

They got him! It cost millions of dollars in legal fees, and involved multiple trials, settlements, and dismissal of the worst charges, but they convicted Harvey Weinstein. A bit like a buck who is taken down by a pack of … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Ethics, Gender, History, Politics - international, Politics - national, Social Policy, Society | 5 Comments

Honours: 2020

I wrote a piece on Australia’s Honours system for Australia Day last year and decided this year to make it an annual event. So here’s this year’s column, which had a couple of hundred words edited out of it to meet the Conversation’s … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Democracy, Ethics | 2 Comments

George RR Martin just reminded us of the horrors of war and our role in them.

Episode 5 of the final season of Game of Thrones showed us a vengeful fallen angle, Daenerys Targaryen, after whom thousands of children in the real world have been named. Even though her enemies had been defeated and surrendered, she … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Democracy, Ethics, Films and TV, Geeky Musings, History, Law, Life, Literature, Media, Print media, Religion, Social Policy, Society, Theatre | 25 Comments

Six tough institutional challenges this century

In 1900, the modern nation states of Europe faced many challenges in terms of how they were run, with poverty and disease still prevalent. The largest problems were more or less successfully addressed by 2000. The road involved world wars … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, Democracy, Economics and public policy, Education, Environment, Ethics, History, Libertarian Musings, Politics - international, Politics - national, Religion, Science, Social, Social Policy, Society | 38 Comments

The Guru recipe

[I just read a self-help book and, like Don Quixote, need to vent…] My 10 rules for becoming a successful guru: Appear popular at the start: humans are just like dogs that follow other dogs. So have a legion of … Continue reading

Posted in bubble, Cultural Critique, Ethics, Geeky Musings, Journalism, Law, Libertarian Musings, Life, Social, Society, Space, Theatre | 18 Comments