A Cool Link to Nowhere

You know that thing that some people do where they link something that is at best tangentially related to what they’re talking about and pretend that it’s directly related to what they’re talking about, apparently hoping that you don’t click the link? There’s a breathtaking example of it in this Elite Daily article about why…

Advancing the Discussion: You’re Doing it Wrong

Ferguson. It happened. There were riots. Everyone had an opinion. People responded. As with everything, some of those responses were better than others. One of the right’s weaker responses has been to try to cast the hammer beating of Zemir Begic as a racial incident. The broad facts are these: Begic, a Bosnian, was beaten…

The Economics of Rioting: Let’s Be Serious

Matt Bruening has been getting some attention on the internet for a couple of days for suggesting that rioting can be rational by appealing to Gary Becker’s authority. "Gary Becker’s authority" is of course Becker’s seminal paper – the one that probably did more than any other to win him the 1992 Nobel Prize in…

Exasperation isn’t Outrage (and Why That Matters)

A Facebook friend who comes down on the opposite side of the issue on how racist the criminal justice system is (I think: not much, certainly less than generally believed; he thinks: RACISS!) posts this: If you’ve found yourself compelled to speak out against the destructive rebellions we’ve witnessed this week, consider this quote. You’re…

Elementary Gets It Right

Society romanticizes paradigm-shifting inventiveness – out-of-the-box thinking – often going so far as to fill it in where it arguably doesn’t really exist (Special Relativity, anyone?). But most innovation is incremental, and no less inventive or important for it. Elementary, as a show, celebrates this, and that’s what I like about it. As usual, I’m…

Did the 6th Circuit Leave Anything Out?

Ilya Somin’s analysis of the 6th Circuit Court’s recent opinion upholding state same-sex marriage bans and (finally) causing a circuit split on the issue has been receiving some praise – not the least from Ilya Shapiro at Cato – and I don’t really understand why. The analysis has a couple of obvious holes. Starting with…

It’s All About the Levels

Scott Alexander’s recent post on Ethnic Tensions was, as usual, excellent. It’s best to read the original rather than trusting my summary, but in a nutshell, the point was that philosophy texts on how arguments go wrong don’t even know how to deal with the most common mode of communication failure in modern political discussions…

Patrick has seen some Movies

So, Patrick Popehat – the Federalist pseudonym of Popehat’s pseudonymous Patrick Non-White – is a shockingly bad movie critic. Either that or he’s having us on. Looking for something else I wanted to blog about on The Federalist, I stumbled across his pretty inexcusably terrible The Eight Most Conservative Horror Films Of All Time. On…