The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

We have got complacent about existential risk: Lowy Interpreter

In this contribution to the Lowy Interpreter today I further flesh-out my thoughts on our relations with China and the US, and why we seem to be systematically under-clubbing existential risk. This is a follow-on from my first AFR column on the subject today (best to read the two in combination). A preview of the Lowy Interpreter contribution is here:

I think the Australian community generally, and some defence specialists, materially underestimate the likelihood of catastrophic conflicts during our lifetimes. We tend to focus on the here and now. And a feature of the human condition is to reflexively assume that what we see around us, the so-called status quo, will propagate itself indefinitely over the horizon. Put differently, change is intrinsically hard to imagine. I've found this to be a problem in economics too.