Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Nobels and the Tang prizes

I read on Marginal Revolution about a new set of four prizes for scholarly achievement called the Tang prizes, after the cultural achievements of Tang dai China. The prizes are roughly on par with the Nobels in amount (they pay … Continue reading

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Materialism, teleology, and magic

I have so far not been tempted to read Thomas Nagel’s new book, but I’ve read a couple things about it. Here is H. Allen Orr in the New York Review of Books. I am a fan of Nagel’s famous … Continue reading

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The invisibility of Republican dissent

Not very novel confession from dissident conservative Republican Bruce Bartlett describes how none of his conservative friends got angry at him for his remarks to the New York Times, because they refused to even look at the New York Times. … Continue reading

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In the Financial District after the flood

The storm shut down my offices for fully two weeks — they opened two Mondays ago at 11am. This is my narrative from that day. The whole place was without power, and the basement levels were fully submerged — everything … Continue reading

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Cars

Yglesias: For a long time now, basically every jurisdiction in the United States has had a policy of promoting car ownership via subjecting personal vehicles to a much lower regulatory standard than alternative means of getting around. You can buy … Continue reading

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Conservatives for teachers’ unions

The Times has this piece about the unlikely collaboration between state-level Republicans and teachers’ unions, as Democrats like Rahm Emmanuel have become champions of school reforms. I’m not sure this will last. I guess it’s an example of the story … Continue reading

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The eternal Civ game — how can there be 1700 years of stability? and a quandary for Civ design

So some guy told Reddit that he has been playing the same Civilization II game for ten real-time years; the game calendar has reached 3991 AD. (Games of Civ can continue after they “officially” end; the game over screen came … Continue reading

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China: Rule by fake PhDs? (America: Rule by fake lawyers?)

A recent Marginal Revolution post adds some complexity to my earlier post comparing the educational backgrounds of the respective rulers of China, America, and other countries. I had remarked on the tendency of Chinese top leaders to have advanced degrees … Continue reading

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Randomized controlled experiments come to the Obama administration. . .

‘s re-election campaign efforts. Of course it’s the campaign that adopts scientific approaches — if the campaign improves their methods, they see immediate and direct benefits. Of course the same kind of thing doesn’t happen on the policy side, where … Continue reading

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This American Life and Mike Daisey’s Perfect Crime

Big fat liar Mike Daisey did an investigative piece on the Chinese factories that make Apple products. The piece aired on This American Life and he took it around the country as a successful one man show. Turns out he … Continue reading

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