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Book Review: Just Giving

I. Traditional book reviews tend to focus on a single book, such as Just Giving by Rob Reich. We ought, however, to be reviewing a broader question: what is the role of books in a liberal democratic society? And what … Continue reading

Links 10/19

[Epistemic status: I haven’t independently verified each link. On average, commenters will end up spotting evidence that around two or three of the links in each links post are wrong or misleading. I correct these as I see them, but … Continue reading

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Book Review: Ages Of Discord

I. I recently reviewed Secular Cycles, which presents a demographic-structural theory of the growth and decline of pre-industrial civilizations. When land is plentiful, population grows and the economy prospers. When land reaches its carrying capacity and income declines to subsistence, … Continue reading

RIP Culture War Thread

[This post is having major technical issues. Some comments may not be appearing. If you can’t comment, please say so on the subreddit.] I. I Come To Praise Caesar, Not To Bury Him Several years ago, an SSC reader made … Continue reading

Highlights From The Comments On Kuhn

Thanks to everyone who commented on the review of The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions. From David Chapman: It’s important to remember that Kuhn wrote this seven decades ago. It was one of the most influential books of pop philosophy in … Continue reading

Kavanaugh: A Probability Poll

There’s some literature suggesting that people are more careful when they think in probabilities. If you ask them for a definite answer, they might give it and sound very confident, but if you encourage them to think probabilistically they might … Continue reading

Basic Income, Not Basic Jobs: Against Hijacking Utopia

Some Democrats angling for the 2020 presidential nomination have a big idea: a basic jobs guarantee, where the government promises a job to anybody who wants one. Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders are all said to … Continue reading

Gupta On Enlightenment

That story about the blockchain-based dating site gets better: its designer is an enlightened being. I got this from Vinay Gupta’s wiki, which describes some of his thoughts and experiences. Since reading Mastering The Core Teachings Of The Buddha, I’ve … Continue reading

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Powerless Placebos

The most important study on the placebo effect is Hróbjartsson and Gøtzsche’s Is The Placebo Powerless?, updated three years later by a systematic review and seven years later with a Cochrane review. All three looked at studies comparing a real … Continue reading

Ars Longa, Vita Brevis

The Alchemist asked if I wanted a drink. I did, but no amount of staring could make my eyes settle on the color of the liquid in the flask. And the gold the alchemists paid the taxmen smelled funny and … Continue reading

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