Again With the Special Atheist Exception

Imagine that some people did something terrible – like, oh, I dunno, walked up to the headquarters of a satire magazine and shot as many people as they could, killing 12 of them, wounding others. Imagine that they had done it in the name of their religion, because they felt it had been insulted by…

The Great Rebalancing (Review)

I spent a good part of the weekend reading Michael Pettis’ The Great Rebalancing, and it’s the single most useful book on economics I’ve read in the past 5 years. The grain of salt with which you should take that judgement is, of course, huge since (a) I haven’t read that many Economics books and…

Who Just Blinked? Hard to Say

So, Varoufakis finally met with the two people who really matter – ECB Chief Mario Draghi and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble – and to all outward appearances it blew up in his face. He left the meeting with Draghi in good spirits, telling everyone they’d had a meaningful converation, only for the ECB to…

STTNG – Allegiance (Review)

Having run out of ideas, the writers retreat to the safety of the Star Trek "Save the Princess" plot. Godlike aliens, mystified about [insert obvious concept] which is not peculiar to humans but they pretend is, kidnap one or more members of the crew to force them to participate in an experiment. So, yet another…

Still Not (Yet) Radical

Further indication that calling Syriza "radical" before all the evidence is in is reckless: Varoufakis (the new Greek Finance Minister) has sworn to the German press that Greece will never again run a deficit – as in "never, never, never!" Alright, let’s get the two(-and-a-half) obvious objections out of the way. Varoufakis won’t be finance…

What do you mean, “Radical?”

Greece may be bigger news in Europe than it is here, but it’s big news. A lot of the future is being decided right now. One of the best articles about the larger political meaning of it that I’ve seen is Christopher Caldwell’s "The Flag-Waving Greek Left" in the Weekly Standard. The general theme is…

Why They’ll Blink

As usual, the international media prefers panic to calm. Therefore, most analyses of the Greek situation you read openly speculate about Greece leaving (or being forced to leave) the Euro. It’s not that it’s completely out of the question; there’s a real danger to be sure. But my money (not literally, though – at least…

STTNG – Tin Man (Review)

Tin Man is problematic to review. Everything about it is conspicuously miscalculated, right down to the botched reference in the title. And yet, there are really good ideas here. Tired of being asked to hide their plot contrivances, the writers have the USS Hood show up out of nowhere to just tell the characters and…

Keeping Simple Simple

The one thing I have deja vu all over again about again and again and again and again in software development is being confronted with a thing that seems intimidatingly complex and deep only to find out that it’s actually dead simple. I’m rapidly becoming convinced that no profession, save possibly high finance, is more…

Germany’s Fault: Now More Than Ever

A sentence about the situation in Greece, since it’s Kind of a Big Deal: it continues to be mostly Germany’s fault. I am the last person to defend Greece’s "economic" model. Borrow money cheap, lie about how much you’ve borrowed, spend it on unproductive things and allow people to massively cheat on their taxes is…