Arnold Kling, Carpetbagger

Arnold Kling – via Razib Khan – makes me aware of something I never knew: that the only serious opposition to FDR in 1936 came from New England. Certainly not what one would expect, given New England’s current reputation as a bastion of blue-blood leftists. The policies that politicians that New Englanders regularly vote for…

Conspiracy Busters

Michael Shermer has a Conspiracy Theory Detector Checklist online at Scientific American. It’s a list of descriptions of common characeristics of dubious conspiracy theories; the more of them a theory meets, the less likely it is to be true. I’m not totally sold, actually. So, here’s the list, each accompanied by a 1-5 rating (5…

How Much Are You?

avid Henderson has an interesting post about that old joke where George Bernard Shaw (well, that’s how I heard it) asks a woman if she’ll sleep with him for a million pounds, and she will, and then asks if she’ll do it for ten, and she’s offended. “What kind of woman do you take me…

The Times, they Changed pt. 2

So one thing that’s annoying about Bob Dylan is the way his fans go on about what a revolutionary he supposedly was. Second to that is how they go on about what a great lyricist he supposedly was. Like last time, I guess I’m not really saying he’s not, just that I have a really…

Books and Guns (with occasional Simak)

So here’s my favorite lefty inconsistency for the week. I brought my iPad to Syntax Reading Group yesterday, and this annoys one of the professors, who is unwilling to give up paper books. These people are legion, and they get on my nerves, but they’re ultimately harmless – like the crowds of hippies who though…

My Founders and Yours

An ancient law setting up mandatory health insurance for seamen is making the rounds on the internet as evidence that the Founding Fathers would’ve supported Obamacare. Case in point: Rick Ungar writing in Forbes Online. His shoving off point is a clause excerpted from a complaint filed by Florida (and a whole bunch of others,…

Book Barbecue

New Year’s Resolutions are a little arbitrary. So I don’t do them. I do Secular Lent, but that’s only for six weeks, and the point is the sacrifice itself; it’s not a self-improvement scheme over and above discipline training. But I think New Year’s Goals are a good idea. These are a subset of resolutions…

Supply and Demand in the Fake World

I tried to leave a comment on Marc Bosquet‘s blog How the University Works but got a string of errors. Kind of like the string of errors in the analogy of his I was writing to complain about. Since my blog (also running on WordPress) can handle comments just fine, I guess I’ll leave it…