Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Exploiting the Stupids: The Intellectual Foundation of Movement Conservatism

Exploiting the Stupids: The Intellectual Foundation of Movement Conservatism  From about the age of 8-12, I read a lot of sci-fi.  Along the way, I stumbled across Robert Heinlein, in particular his novel The Day After Tomorrow, initially published as The Sixth Column.  It was so crudely racist I avoided from then on anything with Heinlein’s name […]

Getting the Shakespearean Part Right

Getting the Shakespearean Part Right  At his rally before the invasion of the Capitol, Trump said to his minions: And after this, we’re going to walk down and I’ll be there with you. We’re going to walk down– We’re going to walk down. Anyone you want, but I think right here, we’re going to walk […]

Post-Putsch: Why There Should Be Consequences for Enablers of the Capitol Invasion

Post-Putsch: Why There Should Be Consequences for Enablers of the Capitol Invasion  I usually find myself agreeing with Glenn Greenwald, but not today.  GG has posted a heartfelt warning against overreaction to the attempted fur-and-horn putsch at the Capitol Building Wednesday.  He says the mob trampled on symbols of state power but otherwise did little of consequence, […]

Zooming in on the Defects of PowerPoint

Zooming in on the Defects of PowerPoint  I’ve just finished several days of staring, hour after hour, at the year’s economics meetings via Zoom.  What really struck me, beyond the content of the talks, was the way Zoom exacerbates “death by bullet point”. PowerPoint’s capabilities encourage speakers to load up their slides with lots of text and […]

Rolling Out the Vaccine

Rolling Out the Vaccine  This morning’s (Dec. 25) New York Times offers a panel discussion on the question of who should get vaccinated against Covid first.  Broadly speaking, they take a utilitarian position: it’s interesting that none disagreed with the positions taken by panelist Peter Singer, the world’s most prominent utilitarian philosopher.  And I wouldn’t either, except […]

The Failure of the Public Health Establishment

Prof. Peter Dorman of Evergreen College writes at EconoSpeak and portrays Matt Yglesias’s retrospective on how the healthcare establishment failed the public when passing information on facemasks, hand-washing, distancing, etc., and how Covid is transmitted. The direct result of not following these practices or casting doubt upon them is an elevation of Covid cases which […]

No Bumper Crop in 2020

No Bumper Crop in 2020 We took a trip this weekend, driving 180 miles each way on I-5 through Oregon and Washington State.  We kept our eyes peeled for bumper stickers relating to the upcoming election but counted only three for Trump and an amazing zero for Biden. I’ve never seen anything like this before […]