Category Archives: books and book reviews

Off-topic: Laura Lippman’s latest novel

It is called Sunburn. I got to it because it was praised in reviews and because its setting is a town on the way to the beach where we vacation every summer. She calls the town Belleville, but I assume … Continue reading

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Jeremy Bailenson on Virtual Reality

The book is called Experience on Demand: What Virtual Reality is, How it Works, and What it Can Do. It was a useful corrective to a lot of my naive impressions of the technology. A few excerpts: By January 2015, … Continue reading

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Off Topic: what I’m reading

Dan Hofstadter, The Love Affair as a Work of Art. I think I saw a book review he did and I liked his writing. When I got a sample of his book, I was intrigued because he starts with Benjamin … Continue reading

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Shorter Jerry Muller

In a Q&A, he writes, My critique is of what I call “metric fixation.” The key components of metric fixation are the belief that it is possible and desirable to replace judgment, acquired by personal experience and talent, with numerical … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, business economics | 11 Comments

From Albion’s Seed to Colin Woodard

My latest essay covers David Hackett-Fischer, Walter Russell Mead, and Colin Woodard. Fischer shows that each of these four cultures had a different concept of liberty. For the Puritans, it was “ordered freedom,” which meant the rule of law, but … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Libertarian Thought, links to my essays | 1 Comment

Gabriel Rossman on Niall Ferguson’s latest book

Rossman writes, to this sociologist’s ear, conflating social networks, civic organizations, and social movements is confusing and imprecise. Some forms of human action are shaped by the structure of personal relationships. Others are shaped by affiliation with voluntary associations from … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Economic History | 3 Comments

How does one define the term “network”?

I ask this question because I have started to work through a review copy of Niall Ferguson’s The Square and the Tower. So far, it is an attempt to reinterpret history as a contest between networks and hierarchies. So naturally, … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Economic History | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

What I’m Reading

Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War, by Wilfred Trotter. Someone who attended a discussion of The Three Languages of Politics recommended it to me. Has anyone else read it? It is sociology from 100 years ago. One of … Continue reading

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The case against policy analysts

Robin Hanson writes, On the other side, however, are most experts in concrete policy analysis. They spend their time studying ways that schools could help people to learn more material, hospitals could help people get healthier, charities could better assist … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Libertarian Thought, Specialization and Trade Economics Intro | 12 Comments

Moderate voters?

James Taranto (WSJ) writes, Those old enough to remember the decades before the ’90s, then, may tend to see permanent majorities around the corner because they expect a return to normalcy. Mr. Fiorina, by contrast, argues that frequent shifts in … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Politics | 13 Comments