Marriott

Looking at Marriott’s new “Travel Brilliantly” Ad campaign, it’s striking how much emphasis is placed on using an app. The ads are full of people gazing at glass screens, oblivious to their surroundings. I guess the point of travelling is to look at apps now. Also, the final shot in the ad is a topo map superimposed onto a defocussed shot of a highway. I don’t have anything clever to say about that, I just think it’s stupid.

Scottish referendum

Quite apart from the nuts-and-bolts macroeconomic reasons, the problem with the Scottish referendum is that nations are always infinitely sub-divisible. The Atom of the nation is the Individual but aside from that hard limit there’s no “rational optimal subdivision.” Where do you stop? Maybe extricate London—it could join Hong Kong and Singapore as a great city state—why shouldn’t one split off Cornwall, North Ireland, Wales? Why not have 64.1 million nations of one citizen each? As we observe in our own Congress, focusing on what divides and differentiates a nation does not build steel beams of strength but is the road to endless dysfunction.

Fixing the Democratic Party

I do not think that the solution to dysfunctional politics is to push the Democratic party further to the left. In fact, this would weaken the left the same way the tea movement weakened the right. Then we will have weakness doubled up against weakness and BOTH parties will be consumed by ridiculous internal purity struggles. In such a scenario the unreformed, hated party establishment will inevitably prevail. There are real solutions: term limits, party threshold preferences, mandatory voting, root-and-branch electoral reform, open primaries but the people who control the system would lose their jobs if they enacted them.