Brian Eno deserves a Nobel Prize

October 13, 2016

From Morgan Begg

This is how much Australian living standards have improved since the year I was born:

That’s from Your Life in Numbers, an amazing new project by the Cato Institute launched on Friday. You can see how much any country has changed in your lifetime here.

Remember when Tim Flannery said global warming would mean we’d see less rain and our damns wouldn’t fill anymore?¬†Well, as the IPA’s Jennifer Marohasy noted on her blog on Wednesday, the Murray Darling Basin has just recorded its wettest September on record. You can also listen to what Jennifer had to say about climate change, flooding and the South Australian blackouts in her appearance on the Alan Jones Show two weeks ago.

The Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmstr√∂m on Monday for their work on contract theory. You can read a useful explainer of their work here. You can also read why Tyler Cowen praised the decision on Monday. The Mises Institute on Monday found there was “much… for Austrian economists to admire” in the decision.

Last week Katie Hopkins called the British government’s commitment to leaving the EU the moment the UK began “rebuilding the British Empire“. Nigel Farage had a great article in The Telegraph on Sunday warning that the Brexit vote in June should not be viewed in isolation – it is replaying itself in the US right now with Trump. You can see where Katie and Nigel fall on Conservative Home’s updated list of the 100 most influential British conservatives, published last week.

By his own admission, Mike Baird “got it wrong” on greyhound racing, and has scrapped his proposed state-wide ban on the industry. And it looks like lockouts will be next. Last month, the IPA’s Evan Mulholland appeared on SYN radio to slam the proposed greyhound racing ban.

Tim Harford, author of The Undercover Economist, published his latest book last week, Messy, about how disorder and randomness can inspire people to do extraordinary things. My favourite example, as Harford recounts in his Financial Times column, is how Brian Eno randomly switched musicians to different instruments during production of what would become David Bowie’s hugely acclaimed ‘Berlin Trilogy‘ of albums.

Former IPA deputy director turned Senator, James Paterson did what we would expect any former IPA deputy director turned Senator to do – propose the sale of government assets to reduce the debt. On Friday, Senator Paterson said Jackson Pollock’s dreadful Blue Poles paintings, worth $350m, should be sold – see the predictable outrage here, here, here and here.

We should sell the paintings, but there must be some reason the government wants to keep them. So we asked people to use their imaginations and convince us why we should keep the paintings for the latest Generation Liberty writing competition. Submissions close tomorrow. We listed our three favourite submissions we’ve received so far – the first one is surprisingly convincing!

Our friends at the HR Nicholls Society are hosting their 36th annual conference in Melbourne on 21-22 October – details and registration here. Immediately after the conference, the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance is hosting a symposium featuring IPA’s Dr Mikayla Novak, Prof. Sinclair Davidson and Aaron Lane – details and registration here.

Lastly, the IPA’s Chris Berg will be speaking about freedom of speech at La Trobe University’s Bold Thinking Series event in Melbourne on 27 October – see details here.

Article of the week

Even the ultra anti-Trump columnist Bret Stephens has some sympathy for the forces driving Trump’s support. His brilliant article in the Wall Street Journal last Monday explains why people may defy the elites and elect Trump to the White House.

IPA Staff Pick

Each week an IPA staff member shares what they have enjoyed recently. Today: John Roskam

The hottest new series is HBO’s ‘Westworld‘, a remake of the 1973 cult-classic film written by the brilliant Michael Crichton. Crichton also wrote the 2004 book State of Fear, a book centred around a ruthless plot by eco-terrorists to manufacture disasters to push the global warming theory.

Crichton gave a fascinating 50 minute address to the Independent Institute in November 2005, titled “States of Fear: Science or Politics?

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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