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05963230-afa9-11e3-8787-d7e40bfa09ff_koch_brothers

A fair share of the scrutiny?

Rich people can influence politics by making donations: to candidates for office, to think tanks, to all sorts of campaigns. It is, presumably, why they do it, though, no doubt, the balance varies between those who are passionate about issues and those who are seeking to benefit from public policy. There are a great many […]

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Six impossible things before breakfast

In “Alice through the Looking Glass”, the White Queen commends the ability to believe the impossible, and claims once to have believed six impossible things before breakfast [link]. I fear that the Daily Telegraph may be developing the same skill. Yesterday I was struck by the “Business Comment” column by Ben Wright [link]. He covered two topics.  […]

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The legacy of Athens

Athens, Greece. Your columnist finds himself surrounded by artifacts of numerous civilizations: Athenian, Macedonian, Roman, Byzantine and Turkish being the most prominent. Athenians feel most positive about the Romans, because Roman leaders became besotted with Athens. It was trendy for leading Romans to have Greek slaves to act as tutors to their children. And those […]

05963230-afa9-11e3-8787-d7e40bfa09ff_koch_brothers

A fair share of the scrutiny?

Rich people can influence politics by making donations: to candidates for office, to think tanks, to all sorts of campaigns. It is, presumably, why they do it, though, no doubt, the balance varies between those who are passionate about issues and those who are seeking to benefit from public policy. There are a great many […]

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Should we welcome synthetic meat?

The cultivation of crops and the domestication of animals were two of the breakthrough technologies for our species. They marked the move from hunter-gatherers to settled and nomadic communities. Other breakthroughs – the bucket and the plow, for example, which enabled farmers to produce surplus, and thus for some people to be something other than […]

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Our posthuman future

“If I had asked people what they wanted,” Henry Ford once observed, “they would have asked for faster horses”.  For the same reason, Steve Jobs never bothered with market research. He didn’t need to know what people wanted. He invented things that they would want if they knew what they could do with them. Sometimes […]

More recent articles:

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Debating the debates

We don’t quite know how many Republicans will be running for president when the campaign kicks off in earnest with the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. Some possible candidates have not declared. Some have not officially declared – which triggers a process by which their expenditures are controlled. Some of those who have […]

AthensAcropolisDawnAdj06028

The legacy of Athens

Athens, Greece. Your columnist finds himself surrounded by artifacts of numerous civilizations: Athenian, Macedonian, Roman, Byzantine and Turkish being the most prominent. Athenians feel most positive about the Romans, because Roman leaders became besotted with Athens. It was trendy for leading Romans to have Greek slaves to act as tutors to their children. And those […]

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughters, Malia and Sasha, sit for a  family portrait in the Green Room of the White House, Sept. 1, 2009. (Official White House Photo)

Photo by Annie Leibovitz/Released by White House Photo Office

This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

A new role for first families

We need a new understanding of the role of “first families” and various other hangers on around the presidency – and indeed other political positions. Until 1993 first ladies were wives. There were none who had any other career. Hillary Clinton gave up her law practice when her husband became president, but she had continued […]

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