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Tag Archives: politics

New Atheism: The Godlessness That Failed

Thucydides predicted that future generations would underestimate the power of Sparta. It built no great temples, left no magnificent ruins. Absent any tangible signs of the sway it once held, memories of its past importance would sound like ridiculous exaggerations. … Continue reading

Financial Incentives Are Weaker Than Social Incentives But Very Important Anyway

NYT: Economic Incentives Don’t Always Do What We Want Them To (h/t MR). For the first time in history, the title actually understates the article, which argues that incentives can be surprisingly useless: Economists have somehow managed to hide in … Continue reading

Too Much Dark Money In Almonds

Everyone always talks about how much money there is in politics. This is the wrong framing. The right framing is Ansolabehere et al’s: why is there so little money in politics? But Ansolabehere focuses on elections, and the mystery is … Continue reading

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Against Against Billionaire Philanthropy

[Conflict of interest notice: I’ve volunteered for both private and public charities, but more often private. I received a small amount of money for work done for a private charity ten years ago. Some of the private charities have been … Continue reading

Addendum To “Enormous Nutshell”: Competing Selectors

[Previously in sequence: Epistemic Learned Helplessness, Book Review: The Secret Of Our Success, List Of Passages I Highlighted In My Copy Of The Secret Of Our Success, Asymmetric Weapons Gone Bad] When I wrote Reactionary Philosophy In An Enormous Planet-Sized … Continue reading

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Buspirone Shortage In Healthcaristan SSR

(Epistemic status: Unsure on details. Some post-publication edits 5/1 to make this less strident.) I. There is a national shortage of buspirone. Buspirone is a 5HT-1 agonist used to control anxiety. Unlike most psychiatric drugs, it’s in a class of … Continue reading

Two Wolves And A Sheep

Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner. “Mutton” takes the popular vote, but “grass” wins in the Electoral College. The wolves wish they hadn’t all moved into the same few trendy coastal cities. Democracy … Continue reading

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Book Review: Inventing The Future

I. They say “don’t judge a book by its cover”. So in case you were withholding judgment: yes, this bright red book covered with left-wing slogans is, in fact, communist. Inventing The Future isn’t technically Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams’ … Continue reading

Respectability Cascades

I. I don’t know much about gay history, but the heavily mythicized version of it I heard goes like this: At first open homosexuality was totally taboo. A few groups of respectable people with hilariously upper-class names like The Mattachine … Continue reading

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What Happened To 90s Environmentalism?

0. Introduction I grew up in the 90s, which meant watching movies about plucky children fighting Pollution Demons. Sometimes teachers would show them to us in class. None of us found that strange. We knew that when we grew up, … Continue reading

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