Gaming the Gaming System

The interesting thing about the Sad Puppies controversy is that both sides make some kind of claim to dislike factionalized voting. That’s the objection to Sad Puppies essentially verbatim: that they’re "gaming" the system in the sense that few people who weren’t on their list have a chance of winning this year. They "stacked" the…

Burning the Hugo to Save It

Because Noah likes to waste my time, I got some blogbait in the mail last night: Larry Correia’s response to George R. R. Martin. So, a brief word on what I think about this. If you don’t know about the Sad Puppies controversy, it’s basically a movement to encourage ballot submissions for the Hugo Award.…

The Liberal Paradox is Neither Liberal nor a Paradox

Academics get a lot of flak for inventing artificial problems. For the most part, I chalk this up to laymen being unfamiliar with what academics do. Imagining things as-yet-unencountered-but-potentially-encounterable is a large part of their job description. Getting at hidden parts of our understanding – for which imagining unrealistic situations is surprisingly useful – is…

The Correct Solution by Accident

That Columbia Journalism Review post on the Rolling Stone UVA "rape" article is the gift that keeps on giving. Even sillier than Jessica Valenti’s confusion on the point of whether caring more for Jackie would have helped is Amanda Marcotte’s insistence that this story won’t help the "Rape Deniers’" case. Who? "Rape deniers." OK, she…

A Question for Krugman

Like a lot of people, I’ve been interested in this "debate" Larry Summers and Ben Bernanke are having about secular stagnation – mostly because, like a lot of people, I don’t really know what "secular stagnation" means. Like a lot of economic debates, it’s hard to even know what they’re disagreeing on. Bernanke lays out…