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…

Pinochet’s Legacy

September 11th came and went, and right on cue, the New Repulic has an article out purporting to bust the “myth” that Pinochet was ever good for anything at all. They’re worked up because a lot of pundits on the right like to defend “the Pinochet model” as a way of dragging backward countries –…

Dead of Winter (Review)

PJ Parrish’s Dead of Winter is one of those books where the pacing and plot are so good, and the characters at least good enough, that you don’t initially notice how trite it is. Louis Kincaid is a black cop recently out of work, having exposed some corruption at his last job in Mississippi. So…

The Return (Review)

Three things strike me on having finished Håkan Nesser’s The Return. The first is that I wonder how much Japanese crime fiction, if any, Nesser’s read. I wonder that because lots of Japanese crime fiction – especially Japanese police procedurals – use the basic pattern that’s employed here: A series of events gives an inspector…

Consistent With vs. Evidence For

One thing that I’m sure would make the world a better place would be if we could manage to teach people the difference between data that is consistent with a theory and data that is evidence for that theory. It’s a crucial distinction, and too many people who comment on the internet have apparently never…

Bernie Sanders and the Budget – a modest proposal

This fun thing has been making the rounds on Facebook (where else?). It’s a quote from Bernie Sanders, Seantor from Vermont (where else?) – and no, it’s not from some internet douche’s wild imagination. If look at Sanders’ own budget blueprint page and scroll down to the section on corporate taxes, you’ll see the same…