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Author Archives: Raph Shirley

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A critique of pure falsification

Falsification is a necessary but not sufficient condition for determining scientific statements. Scientific statements are non-tautological and non-contradictory and falsifiable but the reverse is not universally true. Therefore the concept of falsification is totally insufficient. It does nothing to deal with the problem of induction. Of course scientific statements are falsifiable but that is a […]

I, abstract

Over evolutionary history a given trait may be selected if it increases the chances of its transmission (a tautology at the heart of evolutionary theory (my summary of evolutionary theory is ‘what happens happens and what doesn’t doesn’t’)). As increasingly sophisticated mental processes develop, one might tie all the processes together and create a name […]



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in Peace,

The NHS: when statistics and politics collide

There are two key pieces of evidence to consider with regard to Jeremy Hunt’s recent handling of NHS management: 1) The original paper, which can be found here. 2) Jeremy Hunt believes in homeopathy. The man ultimately in charge of the NHS believes in homeopathy. (!)* Combine the two and ask yourself if Jeremy Hunt […]

The hypocrisy of marketising education

Have you heard the famous story about Thatcher visiting Oxford in the late 80s. Supposedly she asked a young woman what she was studying. “Norse literature,” the woman replied. To which Thatcher said, “What a luxury.” Is not the central promise of free market capitalism a little luxury? I was thinking about this in light […]


Economics Ab Initio

In this article I will be offering a critique of current economic discourse. Essentially my claim is that the majority of discourse is based on fundamentally true statements regarding the effect of some policy in terms of some numerical value but, crucially, that such statements fail to provide any information regarding the actual value under […]

Filthy lefty wants out of Europe

I want out. I’m going to make a couple of points but essentially it comes down to a sense of disgust at seeing a great nation, the largest military power in Europe and one of its biggest economies reduced to haggling over benefits for new migrants. Pittance my friends! It is a perfect example of […]

Casual S**


Free market socialism

The great lesson of China’s assent has been that things which appeared to us inherently connected are now revealed as two separate entities that exist independently. Their creation of capitalism without democracy creates space for a whole set of apparently contradictory systems of government. Here, I will be discussing the possibility of free market socialism. […]

In defence of Islamaphobia

The essential thrust of my argument is that the term Islamaphobia dangerously conflates two things. The first being Islam and the second being Muslims. Can we make no distinction between an idea and the vessel that contains it? To put my position crudely: Human beings deserve respect. Ideas deserve nothing. I would therefore like to […]

Self reference in economic theory

Perhaps the most serious critique of Marxist and Hegelian dialectical materialism is put forth in Karl Popper’s little gem The Poverty of Historicism. If I may be so bold as to offer my own summary of the main argument I give the following: Any objective approach to economic or social theory is fundamentally unscientific and […]


Human beings deserve respect. Ideas deserve nothing but criticism. Luv,

The fantastic state of the UK Labour Party

In which I aim to convince you, dear reader, that the title contains not the slightest hint of irony. Let us cast our minds back to the series of limp Conservative party leaders that followed Tony Blair’s 1997 landslide; a massive electoral victory only equaled by David Cameron’s recent gargantuan landperturbation that was voted for […]

An absurd but slightly serious suggestion regarding the UK nuclear weapons program

In which I argue for a new possibility which aims to please both those for and against the replacement of Trident. I suggest Trident is not renewed but that we stage its renewal. This will please those for the renewal of Trident because all of their extremely well reasoned game theory based strategy will be […]

Why I am a terrorist sympathiser

I am a terrorist sympathiser because I don’t sympathise with terrorists. I woke up yesterday morning to find my prime minister, an elected MP whose job is to defend my interests, had privately but in effect publicly described me as a terrorist sypathiser. I am a hard-core Dawkinsian athiest. I am not only anti-Islamist like […]



A Portrait of a Provincial Nobody

    Words and pictures from Raph Shirley, in humorous weblog form.

    Infecting the internet like so many glimmering tentacles
    ( ).

    He is a fictional character.

    Buy the book!