STTNG – The Most Toys (Review)

Aaaand after a bit of a dry spell, we stumble into another one of the True Great Ones. No, it’s not completely without flaws. No, it’s not as science fictional as I’d normally like. No, the plot isn’t as creative as it could be. Nevertheless, what this one gets right, it gets really right. Data…

STTNG – Hollow Pursuits (Review)

In Ten Forward, Lt. Barclay (who?) orders a drink. Guinan tells him she doesn’t want any trouble. But where Barclay goes, trouble follows. Soon, he’s beaten up Riker and LaForge and is making the moves on Troi until … he’s called to the cargo bay for repairs by … LaForge??? Wtf? OHHHHH, it’s the holodeck.…

Greece: is the solution obvious?

Again, to listen to the international media, everything in Europe is going rapidly in the toilet. There’s a meeting starting right now among European national finance ministers, and so far every statement they’ve made to the press before entering has been to stay hard on their previous line. Varoufakis says Greece has done "10 times…

Causes of Many Moving Parts

I can’t agree with Scott Alexander’s latest entry – on the likelihood that ten independent variables collectively account for the sharp drop in crime over the past 10 years. It’s called How Likely are Multifactorial Trends?, and it reasons from the a priori unlikelihood of 10 otherwise-independent factors randomly trending in the same direction to…

Again With the Special Atheist Exception

Imagine that some people did something terrible – like, oh, I dunno, walked up to the headquarters of a satire magazine and shot as many people as they could, killing 12 of them, wounding others. Imagine that they had done it in the name of their religion, because they felt it had been insulted by…

The Great Rebalancing (Review)

I spent a good part of the weekend reading Michael Pettis’ The Great Rebalancing, and it’s the single most useful book on economics I’ve read in the past 5 years. The grain of salt with which you should take that judgement is, of course, huge since (a) I haven’t read that many Economics books and…

Who Just Blinked? Hard to Say

So, Varoufakis finally met with the two people who really matter – ECB Chief Mario Draghi and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble – and to all outward appearances it blew up in his face. He left the meeting with Draghi in good spirits, telling everyone they’d had a meaningful converation, only for the ECB to…

STTNG – Allegiance (Review)

Having run out of ideas, the writers retreat to the safety of the Star Trek "Save the Princess" plot. Godlike aliens, mystified about [insert obvious concept] which is not peculiar to humans but they pretend is, kidnap one or more members of the crew to force them to participate in an experiment. So, yet another…

Still Not (Yet) Radical

Further indication that calling Syriza "radical" before all the evidence is in is reckless: Varoufakis (the new Greek Finance Minister) has sworn to the German press that Greece will never again run a deficit – as in "never, never, never!" Alright, let’s get the two(-and-a-half) obvious objections out of the way. Varoufakis won’t be finance…

What do you mean, “Radical?”

Greece may be bigger news in Europe than it is here, but it’s big news. A lot of the future is being decided right now. One of the best articles about the larger political meaning of it that I’ve seen is Christopher Caldwell’s "The Flag-Waving Greek Left" in the Weekly Standard. The general theme is…