I've just been looking at some Pew Research figures regarding generational attitudes towards the size of government. It would seem - on the basis of very preliminary evidence- that the electorate is going to get more supportive of big government over time. Each generation believes there is a greater scope for government intervention more than … Continue reading The growing tide of support for government intervention by generation
I'm reading Robert Broome's book on climate change: Climate Matters. In it he makes two very hard to test claims viz: If governments were to behave very differently, it is likely this would change who future people are. The parents of those who would exist sans these drastic policy changes won't meet up. Even if … Continue reading The sensitivity to noise of the world
Very Important Edit: Since I wrote this article, evidence emerged that Scott Alexander is privately a believer in so called "Human biodiversity", aka latter day scientific racism. Or at least that he was at some point. I'm deeply saddened by this, and don't know what else to say except making this correction. C.f. for proof … Continue reading Of guilt by association
WARNING. THIS ESSAY IS NOT YET READY FOR READING. I HAVE PUBLISHED IT FOR THE PURPOSES OF SHOWING A FRIEND. FEEL FREE TO READ IT IF YOU LIKE, BUT PARTS OF IT WILL BE GIBBERISH. I PROMISE THE REAL VERSION WILL BE DONE FAIRLY SOON. On the urging of @Sufjansimone I’ve been spending some time … Continue reading Inflation
I wanted to very briefly make the case that something is fundamentally wrong in the United States for the average person and has been for the last forty years. Some readers will find this obvious, but nonetheless I think there is value in distilling that sense down into a single, undeniable statistic- framing it in … Continue reading Something is rotten in the United States
Aleksandr Wansbrough is a cultural critic, social philosopher and has just published "Capitalism and the Enchanted Screen: Myths and Allegories in the Digital Age". I was recently privileged to have not one, but two multi-hour conversations with him about censorship online in our times. One of the recurring themes of our conversations was that regulation … Continue reading Conversations with Aleksandr Andreas Wansbrough on censorship in a digital age
(Part 2 is occasioned by chapter 4 and onwards. You can read part 1 here.) A reader asked of the last post "what exactly do you and Sandel mean by this "meritocracy" you are critiquing? You've said you're not opposed to the idea that the best person for the job should generally get that job, … Continue reading Reflections occasioned by reading Michael Sandel’s “The Tyranny of Merit”, Part 2.
At the moment there is a low level cultural conversation going on about the difference between being nice and being kind. We are reminded that these things are different. It is possible to be a gruff old bastard with a heart of gold. It is possible to be sweet but selfish. I see this a … Continue reading On the perils of contrasting niceness with kindness
On Chapo the other day Amber A'Lee Frost raised an interesting point. Regarding the novels of John Steinback, she suggested that he was feeding into a national conversation happening at the time he was writing about what to do about people who just aren't very good at things, but in a way not generally recognised … Continue reading On Klutzes
(Part 1 is occasioned by the first 3 chapters) The Irish Elk may have been driven extinct in part due to excessive competition to have larger and more powerful horns by the males. It's obvious once it's pointed out, but it really is amazing how few noticed "anyone can succeed in America" is a big … Continue reading Reflections occasioned by reading Michael Sandel’s “The Tyranny of Merit”, Part 1.