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catallaxy in technical exile

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Interesting report from WA in The Weekend Australian, it seems they have designed an HSC English course that does not require any reading of real books, allows bad spelling and pays no attention to the usual things that English courses are supposed to teach. The Review section of the same paper has a piece on the miserable sales of novels by the nations best writers, and indeed the small sales of most kinds of adult fiction, apart from airport novels. Join the dots.

Actually in 1982 I decided that people who care about the Creative Life of the Mind should purchase at least one hardback book of Australian fiction per annum, whether we like it or not. I bought “The Plains” by Gerald Murnane. It cost $10. It was actually an interesting read, although I don’t think I repeated my good work in 1983 or indeed any year since that time. However I have spent many dollars at Cloustons academic remainders.

Nicholas Gruen on Club Troppo has an alarming piece on the misrepresentation in the accounting practices of some responsible ministers at state and federal level.

Minchin is not the only politician who place politics above propriety. In NSW, the newly appointed treasurer, Michael Costa, attested that the state’s accounts were true and fair when it was known that important assets and liabilities had been excluded from the audited accounts. The assets are missing because of measurement problems, although they could be worth around $7 billion.

The absent liability, which was accurately measured last year to be $2.4 billion, concerns the state’s bankrupted work cover scheme. It is omitted, and has been for many years, because the government does not want to admit responsibility for a scheme it established and oversees.

ACT government representatives have also happy to attach their signatures to financial statements which they knew were wrong. For the 2004-05 year, recently retired territory treasurer, Ted Quinlan, departed from accounting standards he had previously adopted, against the advice of the auditor-general. Had he kept to the standards he would have had to report a deficit of $188 million; instead he delivered a $26 million surplus. Breaking accounting standards did not stop Quinlan from reporting that the 2004-05 statements “fairly reflected the financial operations of the Territory.”

The consensed version of The Open Society and its Enemies is approaching completion with chapter 24 ‘The revolt against reason‘ now in place.

The Austrian economists have recently been inspired by the annual visit from James Buchanan, 87 years old and going strong.

In spite of his age—he is 87—James Buchanan is still intellectually alert and active. For a whole week, Buchanan discussed with us his life-long themes, as well as his most recent views and research. Buchanan is one of the few great classical liberals of the last 50 years. He has made seminal contributions to economic science. Spending a week discussing with this Southern gentleman was a true reward in itself.

As far as the discussions are concerned, Buchanan talked about constitutional political economy and the Wicksellian approach, his Nobel Prize, the influence of Hayek’s thought in his work, the survival of socialism (Afraid to Be Free), and his more recent work on increasing returns.

Has the supposedly extinct ivory-bill woodpecker been sighted in the Arkansas swamps? Learned controversy rages.

Claims that the bird in the Luneau video is a normal pileated woodpecker are based on misrepresentation of a pileated’s underwing pattern, interpretation of video artifacts as plumage pattern and inaccurate models of takeoff and flight behavior.

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Written by Admin

March 18, 2006 at 8:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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