POST 28 – 6-02-2015

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My own computer sent the last POST to JUNK so please stop this from happening to you by making sure that the address for this site is entered in your Address Book.




A friend travelling in Vietnam sent this postcard suggesting it is a lesson in improving transportation productivity.



Meyrick Gilchrist recently had a letter to the Editor published in the Sydney Morning Herald in which she referred to an article by Ross Gittins, the paper’s economics reporter. Her letter read:

Ross Gittins asks “why do so many economists stay silent while business interests distort the principles of economics to disguise their self-seeking?” (“Soul-searching question for economists”, February 2). Surely, as we head towards a second Coalition budget, we should all be asking such questions. If we continue to accept the economic status quo in which, according to Professor Ross Garnaut, “economic reform has degenerated into rival interest groups striving for nothing more than sectional advantage”, we will perpetuate the budgetary deadlock holding back our country. While it is hard to find economists speaking a new language, there are many forums in which new, creative approaches to economic reform are being researched and analysed.  The advantages of “ecosystem accounting”, for example, are being explored in the USA and France, where researchers are addressing the need for new measures that more fully capture progress, rather that continuing to rely on GDP alone. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development “Global Project on Measuring the Progress of Societies” is looking at new sets of economic, social and environmental indicators: measures that would include equitable income distribution, a clean environment, sustainability and quality of life. It is therefore heartening to read the NSW government has signed up to The Climate Group and that Victoria and Tasmania are also signatories (“NSW joins global climate group”, February 2). Let us counter the “eco-economy” silence of economists by applauding this initiative and lobbying governments at all levels to follow the lead. Meyrick Gilchrist Abbotsford

I have applied some hyperlinks in this copy of her letter and some excerpts follow:

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development “Global Project on Measuring the Progress of Societies – an extract:

Understanding the issue

Societal progress is about improvements in the well-being of people and households. It requires looking not only at the functioning of the economic system but also at the diverse experiences and living conditions of people.


To your blogger, that means that the issue is about the “civilising process” that all humanity should be progressing.

The Climate Group:

We bring together leaders, share evidence of success and pilot solutions for a low carbon future.

The Climate Group is an international coalition of some of the world’s most powerful leaders. It is globally recognized for its exceptional impact on the climate debate, and respected as one of the world’s most influential non-profits. Its membership is made up of over 100 major brands, sub-national governments and international institutions.


If you feel that science is deficient in your portfolio of your life’s study then there are a few items you should focus on in order to catch up. Not everyone who studied humanities – English, History, Art, Philosophy etc. – is cut off from a scientific viewpoint in this highly connected world, but, even if you do not consider yourself scientifically literate you have access to the internet and can soon get catch-up information. There are also branches of science that leave their proponents isolated from one another. Engineers and biologists sometimes seem to inhabit different mind sets.

I know lots of people who feel that science or a particular branch of science has passed them by and thus feel inhibited in discussing those areas of science. In the fields in which I am interested and discussed in the paper by Doug Cocks copied in my last POST there are a few important items for those feeling alienated from science to direct their scholarly energies towards. If you see a need for each of us to recognise that we are involved in the civilising process then you need to come to grips with some basic science.

You need to know about entropy, systems, evolution, ecology and how humans can influence each of these. In order to influence events you need to have a world view to give purpose to your decisions and actions.

  • About entropy you need to know what it is and how it can be reversed.
  • About systems you need to know what closed, open, cycling, adaptive and dissipative systems are.
  • About evolution you need to know about how systems change and how they are subject to replication, variation and survival in a challenging environment.
  • About ecology you need to know about interactions among organisms and their environment.
  • About human affairs you need to know what happens in events if humans do not intervene or if they do intervene, either unintentionally or intentionally.
  • You need to develop a world view so you can influence the civilising process by conscious intervention in human affairs directed towards maximising human fruitfulness.

Google and Wikipedia are starting points but I will be attempting to address these elements in future posts to this blog. Doug Cocks’ article shows one way to form a world view.

  1. TAX US NOW.

Saving the budget by cutting Government services or selling our assets has failed so tax increases must come.

As Tony Abbot struggles to save his fundamental orifice – at last someone spells out the need to raise taxes. See this Conversation article


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