Don Arthur’s Friday Missing Link

Moving backwards? Opposition leader Tony Abbott’s project is “oriented to the past rather than the future, and it seeks to reinstate the past by projectively erasing the present”, writes Mark Bahnisch.

Bringing back tram conductors: The Greens want to bring back Melbourne’s tram conductors. But Alan Davies at the Melbourne Urbanist is unconvinced: “I don’t know why nominally progressive people are so infatuated with this issue. In my opinion, spending $60 million p.a. on improving outer suburban bus services would achieve a lot more environmentally and socially than providing conductors for relatively privileged inner city and inner suburban tram travellers.”

Can you get things done without making people hate you? How assertive should managers be? According to recent post at Psyblog, “people who are low in assertiveness get less things done but people very high in assertiveness are socially insufferable”. The sweet spot is somewhere in between.

Battle of the think tanks: “Australia’s most prolific and influential think tanks will duke it out over whose ideology and vision for the future should prevail” at an event hosted by Thought Broker on Saturday November 12. Via Andrew Norton.

Creative destruction: Most ideas in business are bad ideas, says Karl Smith. So “what you need is a process that destroys as many bad ideas as possible, leaving the rare good idea to prosper.” That process is the market.

Is this what you want for your daughter? A US senate candidate offers some advice to wives. Be “a lady in the living room and a whore in the bedroom”. What does that mean? Marina Adshade spells it out.

Is inequality stifling innovation? “Perhaps we’re not having much innovation because our median incomes aren’t growing fast enough”, suggests Matthew Yglesias.

Equality of opportunity? US Senator Paul Ryan believes in equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome — the idea that “justice is done when we level the playing field at the starting line, and rewards are proportionate to merit and effort.” But a belief in equality of opportunity and strident opposition to redistribution just doesn’t make sense, argues Matthew Yglesias.

Rawls and the protesters: Philosopher John Rawls would make a “perfect intellectual touchstone” for the Occupy Wall Street protests, writes Steven Mazie in the New York Times. But according to Will Wilkinson, Mazie is peddling a watered down version of Rawls’ philosophy.

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