Friday, April 30, 2010

Given its constitutional status, the Presidential Council for Minority Rights (PCMR) appears to be the highest organ within the Government mandated with the task of protecting the rights of members of minority groups. It is my understanding that the PCMR, which is chaired by the Chief Justice, may consider and report on legislative and policy matters affecting persons of ethnic and religious communities only if referred to by Parliament or the Government. I was surprised to learn that in 40 years of existence, the PCMR had never issued a statement or taken a position on any particular legislation or public policy that may have affected the rights of members of ethnic minority groups. Moreover, it seemed to me that there exists a potential conflict between the dual role of the Chief Justice as head of an independent judiciary (to which a case may be filed questioning the constitutionality of any law or policy) and as Chairperson of the PCMR.

- taken from the press statement delivered by Mr. Githu Muigai, the UN Special Rapporteur, on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in Singapore

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is. I only know that people call me a feminist when I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute.
- Rebecca West
(HT A Blog Around The Clock)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sam Harris: Science can answer moral questions | Video on TED.com

"Questions of good and evil, right and wrong are commonly thought unanswerable by science. But Sam Harris argues that science can -- and should -- be an authority on moral issues, shaping human values and setting out what constitutes a good life."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Economic Efficiency

Bryan Caplan:
Economic efficiency is designed and well-suited to helping people who want the efficient outcome. It is equally true to say that economic efficiency is designed and well-suited to hurting people who don't want the efficient outcome.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Arts Funding: A new approach

David Rawcliffe:
Government support for the arts is currently provided as a subsidy to producers. This system suffers from four major problems: it relies on an expensive bureaucracy; it distributes subsidies unequally between regions and income groups; it distorts producers’ incentives through corruption, politicisation and arbitrary criteria; and it reduces competition, innovation and efficiency. This paper proposes a new system for arts funding: consumer-side subsidies delivered as vouchers to all citizens, which would alleviate the four problems outlined above, and better fulfil the central objectives of art funding.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

At the suggestion of journalists, commenters, and others, I am going to assemble the best explanations of different aspects of climate science and post them. Or repost them, in this case. Then I’ll create an overview post for the sidebar that organizes them.

So I’m hoping you’ll help me identify the best articles, blog posts, videos, and the like on all areas of climate science from attribution to water vapor feedback (strangely, there are no “z” words in climate glossaries). It doesn’t matter if the subject matter overlaps. People need to hear and see things many times from different perspectives

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Benefits of Procrastination: The Economics of Geo-engineering

"A wait-and-see strategy is probably optimal because immediate cutbacks in fossil fuel make economic sense only in worst-case climate scenarios."