28 September 2020

US Supreme Court Appointment Farce

Not a comment on the pending appointment of another Judge. The procedure itself is highly defective. A waver-thin majority in one of the two chambers of Parliament should not be able to push through a candidate. For critical appointments there should be a mandatory quorum of at least 60 or 66 percent, maybe even 75 percent so that opposing political groupings have to come to a compromise.
Individual judges should also be forced to resign within a reasonable time period so as to avoid that relatively young appointees cannot stay 40 years or longer in office.

Future looks bleak for Universities

The Wuhan Virus will not only accelerate the trend to (at least partial) home-working, it will also shake up the sleepy world of our Universities. If more and more lectures are delivered digitally there will ultimately be a need for fewer professors and other teaching staff. One can take the example of Economics. Depending on the size of the country there may be a few dozen or hundred professors essentially teaching an identical curriculum. Now we all know from experience that not all - or maybe only a few - of them are equally gifted speakers. But will they now all deliver their lectures digitally? Would students not gravitate to the most exciting, most interesting, most highly rated handful of professors teaching the subject IN THE WHOLD WORLD?
Even the basic acquisition in subjects that require hands-on training (Medicine, Engineering etc) can be done remotely which means probably nearly half the curriculum. This implies a DRASTIC  shrinkage in the number of teaching (and supporting) staff required in all universities, and result in vast amount of surplus Real Estate as well.

27 September 2020

MPs should be doing more to defend their Constituents' liberties

Says a newspaper headline. But how realistic is this? In most countries the link between an MP and his constituents is tenous - if it exists at all. Most owe their allegiance to a party machine and toe the line most of the time. Direct Democracy would allow for much closer alignment of politics with the interests and preferences of the citizens.