Kerry-OK

Here’s Bryan Caplan making the case on 26 December 2010 that the German public probably knew that something like the Holocaust was going on and would, in any case, have approved had it known: Furthermore, the fact that the Nazis gained power by largely democratic means makes it hard to believe that bitter anti-Semitism wasn’t…

What’s the Use of Science Fantasy?

John Scalzi has an interesting column about the merits of “Science Fantasy” as a label. Short version: he doesn’t think it has many. I have a couple of nits to pick. (1) “Everything you can possibly label as ‘science fiction’ is in fact just a subset of a larger genre, which is correctly called ‘fantasy.’”.…

Quorum Busting Must not Become a Way of Life

So it’s spreading. Indiana Democratic lawmakers walked out of the State Assembly to protest what Huffington Post calls an anti-union bill. Anti-union bill. Well, in one sense I suppose it is. Some background. Right-to-work is a provision of the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act which protects workers against being compelled to join a union as a condition…

Talking Sense on Internet Bookstores

In my determination to purge my library of paper books, it’s helpful to run across links like this – which goes to an article in the Atlantic by Mark Bernstein called “The Other Book Revolution.” Money quote: Lamentations for the bookstore are the background music of our time, but the picture is far more complex.…

Sunday Straw Man: Yglesias

Here’s an interesting map I stole from Matt Yglesias, who himself stole it from Josh Marshall: But my real point is Yglesias’ commentary on it, summed up in this line: Plenty of states seem to manage to have budget crises much [more] severe than Wisconsin’s with less union-friendly legal regimes. And once again I’m sort…

Arslan

One of Abigail Nussbaum’s “Women Writing SF” reads is Arslan, a book that’s been sitting on my shelf since, I would guess, the late 90s? Since I’m taking no hostages getting rid of all obsolete paper books this year, I thought I’d finally get around to reading it. I’m glad I did. Now, if you’ve…

On Second Thought: Work and Leisure

Noah’s post today is at least partly a response to something I wrote about surplus cognitive capacity two weeks ago, itself an expansion of a comment on Econlog. The idea is that things like video games and sports trivia use up mental energy that could be put to more economically productive uses. That was kind…

The Fallacy of Pragmatic Inversion

One theme on this blog is suggested additions to the list of named rhetorical fallacies. Which more often than not just means pointing out common logically questionable rhetorical devices that people use in arguements. I think it was Erle Stanley Gardner who said he enjoyed being a lawyer because it was like a verbal fistfight.…

Rollins at 50

For artists who have nothing to say, but want credit for saying something anyway, there are two basic strategies. There’s the Bob Dylan/James Joyce: throw a bunch of literary references at the wall until there’s too much of a well-researched mess there to mean nothing, though what it actually does mean is anyone’s guess. And…