The Silkworm (Review)

A good mystery should end with the reader slapping his forehead and saying "I realy should have seen that!" Robert Galbraith(aka JK Rowling)’s The Silkworm is like that except for the part where you slap yourself on the head. In this one, it’s more like you groan, say "of course," and then think you would…

New Eyes, New Wool: Sunstein on History

Cass Sunstein is a marvelous salesman but an intellectual prestigitator. Well, what else can you call a man who is half of the team that half a decade ago had a lot of prominent libertarians very nearly convinced that manipulating people’s choices was not only morally acceptable but a way to maintain individual freedom? With…

Stealing Photos is Wrong Period

There’s a good example of the Pragmatic Inversion Fallacy on offer at Salon today that – and I know you didn’t see this one coming! – involves womens. It’s right there in the title actually: Reminder: Stealing women’s private photos is a crime against women. And of course it is! But only because stealing people’s…

Federal Republic of Britain

Chris Bertram has an interesting post on Crooked Timber called Eine Bundesrepublik Britannien? speculating that the push for Scottish secession is symptomatic of structural problems in the UK. I agree. His proposed solution – and, to be fair, it’s only a “what do you think of this?” suggestion – is to make a kind of…

An Example About Nothing from BHL

Jason Brennan posts a thought on secessionism and freedom (inspired by you-know-what), and it’s yet another case in point about why we should be suspicious of the Bleeding Heart Libertarian project. His basic point is sound, if shallow and unhelpful: In the abstract, secession just means replacing one democratic body with a different one. It’s…

Just Think it Through

Here’s a cute little article by Shanny Luft called Why Atheists Should Fight for the Establishment of State Religion that’s a nice encapsulation of the primary way rationalist arguments can go wrong: lack of due diligence. The author means just what he says in the title: American atheists should support efforts to establish a state…

Gone Girl (Review)

Let’s get one thing straight: Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl is overrated, but that doesn’t keep it from being excellent. What does that mean? Mostly it means that the book fails on a lot of the terms that people think it succeeds, but it still manages to succeed where it counts. Let’s explore. It’s only fair…