Natural Machines

“Machines — as in contraptions made with wire and metal and stuff — are not natural.  Sure, animals are like these machines in that they have nerves that connect things and bones and other mechanical parts.  But animals are really chemical contraptions; they’re not anything like the computers and cars that humans make.  That’s why […]

Modernity and Control

Sometimes I wonder whether humanity has made itself better off by choosing industrialization.  Are we really happier living long lives?  Was life more meaningful when expectancy was 30 but you had nature and love and tragedy? But then I think that this expresses a characteristic modern conceit: that modernity is something we chose.  That it’s […]

In Milton Keynes

                                                           But go with speed, And what thy stores contain, bring forth and pour Abundance, fit to honor and receive Our Heav’nly stranger; well we may afford Our givers thir own gifts, and large bestow From large bestow’d, where Nature multiplies Her fertile growth, and by disburd’ning grows More fruitful, which instructs us not to […]

Pay for Delay

I have been following the debate in the pages of Antitrust between two groups of distinguished economists about “pay for delay”, which is when a branded drug maker pays a generic drug maker to delay entry into the market.   The question is how much pay for delay do you need before you can conclude […]

Public Reason

Hughes notes at Paradise Lost : IV : 389: “public reason: reason of state, a perversion of the Ciceronian principle . . . that the good of the people is the supreme law . . . Henry Parker approved its use by Parliament and condemned the Royalists for too frequent appeals to it.” Milton writes: […]