Fact Checking is not a High Priority at the Guardian

Speaking of the German election, would it kill The Guardian to fact-check its articles before they go online? In this writeup they seem to have skipped reading the SPD’s actual election results – which is OK and all, because it’s like, you know, only the second-largest party participating in the election. All other parties [besides…

The Results – some thoughts

Germany’s election system is so weird. A superficial look at the results would tell you that Union won. After all, they have 41.5% and the nearest runner-up barely 2/3 their total. Better yet, if you add up all the left-wing parties together, it’s about … 42.7%. So, Union won all by itself, really. They get…

The Phantom Systems Game

Jason Brenan is doing that thing he does again where he poses a counterfactual that’s essentially empty. Here it is: Suppose central planning in a large scale economy turned out to be Pareto-efficient, but libertarian markets were far inferior in Paretian terms. Would you still favor libertarian markets? How much worse would these markets have…

Displaying Leadership, or Something

This morning I open Facebook to find the following clearly-delusional post from one of my friends: Obama recognizes the possibility of a peaceful resolution to the issue of chemical weapons in Syria and has the courage to stay a congressional vote for the use of military force in spite of publically announcing an intent to…

Tipping, Speech and Punishment

Rebecca Blood links to an article on Slate about a no-tip restaurant and how that worked out for them. Very well, it seems – though we’re admittedly only getting the owner’s perspective here. But I worked as a waiter for 8 months in 2003, and everything that he says rings true. It’s an empirical question,…

Dodging Internet Norms

John Scalzi is doing that thing he does again where he pretends like he’s not addressing a particular point when in fact he is. The link goes to a post where he is definitely NOT commenting on Clark from Popehat calling him out for commenting on things Clark said without either naming Clark or linking…

Asking the Tough Questions

Hey, remember when arming terrorists was the big, scary Red Line? Yeah, well, not so much anymore. President Obama just waived the federal law prohibiting him from funnelling arms to terrorists in case, you know, he wants to arm some to save face over Syria. That’s just great, that is. Now, if we had a…

My Score on the Big SciFi Test

NPR has a list of the top 100 SF/F books as chosen by listeners/readers. I’m a little bit intrigued what their thinking was on including series. In some cases, like Lord of the Rings, where the "series" is pretty clearly just volumes in a single work, of course I agree that treating the entire series…