Indeterminate complex uncertain life

It would seem to me that at least some of the uncertainty that I experience in life comes not from complication but from indeterminacy. For example, I love both sushi and pizza. Simple preferences. No lack of information involved, I’m telling you: I dig them both! But put me in front of two restaurants selling…

The nuances of the word ‘complexity’

One of the most popular ways to explain the difference between risk and uncertainty is the example of the coin: Imagine you flip a coin 100 times. If the coin was perfectly balanced the final tally would read: 50x head, 50x tails. However, since coins are not perfect, in real life you’re more likely to…

What I learned from… Samuel DeCanio

DeCanio, S. (2011) Populism, Paranoia, and the Politics of Free Silver. Studies in American Political Development, 25(1), 1-26. In 1896, a Democrat politician named William Jennings Bryan realized that people were very angry at banks and existing monetary policy. He then set out to get elected as President of the United States on the basis…

What I learned from… Rod Dacombe

Rod Dacombe (2011) Can we argue against it? Performance management and state funding of voluntary organizations in the UK. Public Money & Management, 31(3), 159-166. Say you volunteer to help an old lady carrying groceries from the store. Should she thank you if you drag the bags across the street and break everything that she…

What I learned from… Elisa Cavatorta

Cavatorta, E. (2010) Unobserved common factors in military expenditure interactions across MENA countries. Defence and Peace Economics, 21(4), 301-316. What Elisa is interested in doing here is to go beyond the most typical variables used to explain military expenditure (monetary capacity, perception of external threats, perception of internal threats). Although I am using the word…

Entry costs + renewables

I think this article deserves a read: Costa Rica soon to unveil its first hydrogen-powered bus, by Macro Sibaja on the Costa Rican newspaper ‘The Tico Times’. Originally by the AFP, the article summarises the announcement by Ad Astra Rocket (a company associated with a Costa Rican scientist who used to be an astronaut for…

What I learned from… Damien Bol

Bol, D. (2016). Electoral reform, values and party self-interest. Party Politics, 22(1), 93-104. Political parties need to follow electoral rules to get elected but, once elected, they can (to some extent) change these rules. What drives them to support changes? Is it a desire to be re-elected or the benefit of society? Apparently, is a…

What I learned from… Andrew Blick

Blick, A., & Gordon QC, R. (2016). Using the Prerogative for Major Constitutional Change: The United Kingdom Constitution and Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. London: The Constitution Society. This paper was published in 2016. At this time, the UK courts had not yet heard the Gina Miller that eventually showed May could…

Being cool

It seems unrelated to energy, you read this article entitled If Eating is “Cool” then Farming must be “Cool” too. It is about agriculture. It notes that the perception of farmers is not precisely ‘cool’: “most youths’ perception of agriculture and agribusiness reflects the image of a dirty, exhausted poor farmer carrying a rusty hoe…