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Articles from Club Troppo

Brian Schmidt: The Mathematics Does Not Lie: Why Polling Got The Australian Election Wrong

May 20, 2019 - 18:16 -- Admin

This is a guest post by Brian Schmidt. Actually it isn’t, I’ve cut and pasted. I hope he doesn’t mind. Important stuff. HT: John Walker

Everyone in my office grew sick last week of my continual complaints about the state of the political polls. Not because of any insights into the results they were predicting, but because they were all saying the same thing with a collective similarity that violates the fundamentals of mathematics.

RIP Bob Hawke: a repost from 2008

May 17, 2019 - 11:44 -- Admin

I worked for the early Hawke government in 1983 and 1984 when I worked for Senator John Button. Hawke barely knew me then or later, but in 2003, I attended a dinner at Moonee Valley Racecourse in honour of the 20th anniversary of his election. Anyway, I happened to be at his table and made a point at the end of the dinner of going up to him, shaking his hand and saying “Thanks for being the only really good prime minister of my lifetime,” an assessment which I hold to this day.

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

May 15, 2019 - 21:43 -- Admin

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 nevertheless used her massive weapon, a fire-spewing dragon, to kill hundreds of thousands of civilians. We get to experience this from the point of view of the victims who are incinerated, men, women, and children.

History and economics: it was all there in the beginning …

May 7, 2019 - 14:02 -- Admin

<SelfIndulgenceAlert>Stuart MacIntyre was kind enough to suggest me as a discussant on a paper on financial deregulation in the 1980s in a workshop focusing on Australia and the Bretton Woods conference put on by Melbourne Uni History and Economic History. (Yes I know it’s a little unclear how the 1980s get involved but there you go – this was the unpicking of the institutions Australia built around the Bretton Woods arrangements).

Six tough institutional challenges this century

April 30, 2019 - 02:06 -- Admin

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 and civil wars, but the essential recipe to the problems prevalent in 1900 has been found and implemented in most countries in Europe. In turn that recipe has been copied in many other places.

An unpublished column on Brexit: until now!

April 15, 2019 - 12:56 -- Admin

From around January this year I’ve tried to get the column below published – in the Guardian UK where my previous column was published. Unfortunately, and even after endless cajoling via the Guardian at this end, I couldn’t get a reply which is piss poor but there you go. Martin Wolf tried for me at the FT. At least they responded – but with a ‘no’, which is fair enough given the oversupply of articles on Brexit.