In red button game the players should be enemies (or at least unaligned) which doesn't play well with the in-community ritual. Adding EA forum this year was, IMO, a step in the right direction. What about getting some further off community involved? Maybe anti-nuclear activists like https://www.icanw.org ? One wouldn't, of course, expect anti-nuclear activists to press the button, but the community may be different enough (UN politics, anyone?) to make it interesting.
With age pyramid shifting is there really a dearth of available experts? If only a fraction of retired experts was involved in apprenticeship programmes, wouldn't that be enough to server the dwindling pool of young apprentices?
Those are some good points. I wonder whether similar happened (or could at all happen) in other nuclear countries, where we don't know about similar incidents - because the system haven't collapsed there, the archives were not made public etc.
Also, it makes actually celebrating Petrov's day as widely as possible important, because then the option for the lowest-ranked person would be: "Get demoted, but also get famous all around the world."
I think it's not just that the old generation has died out. It's also that the conflict theorists shut up for a while after such a bloodshed and gave the people like Hugo Grotius a window of opportunity to create the international law.
Similar thing, by the way, happened in Europe after WWII. I've written about it here. I wonder whether this opening of the window of opportunity after a major catastrophe is a common occurrence. If so, working on possible courses of action in advance, so that they can be quickly applied once a catastrophe is over, may be a usful strategy.
Replace blue and green with protestant and catholic, 95% with 60% and what you get is the Thirty Years' War and the beginning of the modern world order.
Here it is (my translation): "You'll get money to distribute at the banks of Loire and three tobacconist shops as well. I even hope to get two postman offices. The finance minister haven't answered yet in this matter, but I'll let you know by telegraph. And moreover, you'll be able to depose almost anyone. You are clever and you will use these rights discreetly." (chapter XLIX)
Correct. "Trafika" may have sold both tobacco and newspapers, but there was a state monopoly on tobacco, which then resulted in allocating those "offices" on political basis.
As for France, I remember there was a chapter in Stendhal's "Lucien Leuwen" where the protagonist was sent, as an election emissary, to the province with a list of offices that he could grant to the political supporters. Later on I'll have a look at what kind of offices those were.
No, it's just a random thought.
I think the real difference is in the incentives the person faces. If they need to compete for votes or for the favour of their superiors, they are, basically, in political business. The person may be an expert, yes, but the incentives force them to care less about technical superiority of the solution and more about whether it's palatable to the voters/benefactors.
If instead, you are hired to execute tasks that are handed to you by someone else, you can think: "Well, I can try to be cute and try to satisfy my boss' political preferences, at the expense of the solution, but, on the other hand, he's going to be replaced sooner or later and I'll better have a track record of successful execution so that the next person doesn't fire me."
The boundary is still blurry, but it at least answers the question about the people who rise as technocrats and are then politically selected: Once you are politically selected, your incentives change and you fall into the category of political appointees.
Looking back at the history of continental Europe, it looks to me we can either have bureaucracy or bureaucracy plus war. Pick one. That being said, it's not so clear to me what went wrong with the EU vaccination strategy. (Admittedly, I haven't been following it closely.) EU did pretty well in its own area, that is coordination. It managed to get the authority to act on behalf of the member states and prevent bidding wars that would otherwise end up with all the vaccines going to Germany and none to Bulgaria. It (as far as I understand) signed cheapskate contracts with the pharma companies and once it became clear that all the contracts cannot be fulfilled the companies have chosen to serve the more lucrative customers first. But on the other hand, I am not sure whether the countries that paid more did consider it a victory back then. It may as well be that they've got lucky just because they had lousy negotiators. Anyway, none of this is related to bureaucracy. The Astra-Zeneca blood clot hysteria, I believe, was a matter of local governments. The only related statements by EU I remember were those declaring the vaccine safe. The vaccination itself is managed by local governments and the problems can not be blamed on EU. The only obvious blunder that comes to mind was the one with threatening to block export of the vaccines to Norther Ireland, but they've backtracked pretty fast on that one.