When Structural Oppression Isn’t (But Is)

For a good example of why I cannot take feminist theory very seriously, have a look at this response to my comment on Scott Alexander’s latest post ("Untitled"). Short recap: Scott Aaronson posted a long and rather vulnerable and personal bit on feeling oppressed by feminists, to which feminists mostly responded by bullying him. Classy…

The Curse of Chalion (Review)

I can’t say for sure, but The Curse of Chalion is likely the first book I’ve read by Lois McMaster Bujold – something I now know to be an oversight. It is, simply put, one of the better-crafted fantasy novels I’ve read. It isn’t exactly my kind of fantasy novel. I like mine either nature-loving…

Takes One to Know One, As They Say

Today I was excited to see a comment by Pax Dickinson on one of Scott Alexander’s posts. I’m in the camp that thinks he was shafted (my actual words were that he’s an attention whore who should have been quietly reprimanded and otherwise allowed to keep his job), and I admit to having wondered a…

Actually, PHP Productivity is Nothing to Sniff at

I would like to take a moment to chuckle about this … in which the learning curves of various programming languages are given. Apparently the author is a Haskeller … and so he’s taking the opportunity to have a good laugh at how much harder to learn Haskell is in reality than you’re promised it…

One-line Dispatching

Here’s my new favorite pattern in Coffeescript/Javascript – using the indispensible LoDash library. ld(obj).pairs().filter(ld.last).map(ld.first).value() First, what’s it do – or more accurately, how do I use it? I’ve found it works really well as a dispatch table, or a kind of giant switch statement, when more than one condition needs to apply. So, say you…

World Mutual Fund

One thing I’ve been meaning to get back to is the strange libertarian attraction for a Basic Income Guarantee, and questions about whether it’s feasible. My jumping off point: Scott Alexander highlighted this comment for being a particularly good suggestion of how to fix the implementation of a hypothetical Socialism-within-Capitalism. It was made on a…

Actually, We Like Cooperation Better than You

Life lived as a Libertarian in today’s political order involves a lot of head-scratching. Partly that’s just because you’re an outsider – and anyone who’s outside the mainstream will tend to have a clearer view than others of the mechanisms the mainstream uses to perpetuate itself. For American politics, that means you often notice before…

How (Not) To Sell A Crisis

Preparing for the worst is a healthy way to live your life. But there are people who raise alarms just to raise alarms. One of my friends on Facebook keeps posting articles from a site called Information Clearing House that seems to be a gaggle of such people. It’s interesting, for example, to watch them…

Reverse Racism Exists, and it isn’t always “Reverse”

The strength of thought experiments is also their weakness. The great thing about them is it lets you abstract out the essentials of a problem and focus on those. The downside is that you may turn out to be wrong about what’s essential. Roderick Long’s Thought Experiments on Reverse Racism strike me as having missed…

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…