Category Archives: Politics

Sociotropic voting

Jeffrey Friedman writes, The assumption of self-interest does make sense as a starting point in analyzing economic behavior, because in modern societies, people are taught that self-interest is acceptable in their employment, business, consumer, and financial affairs. But they’re taught … Continue reading

Posted in Jeffrey Friedman is provocative, Politics | 12 Comments

Four political parties

In the NYT, Peter Baker writes, Although elected as a Republican last year, Mr. Trump has shown in the nearly eight months in office that he is, in many ways, the first independent to hold the presidency since the advent … Continue reading

Posted in David Brooks, Politics | Tagged | 12 Comments

Don’t let it bring you down

To paraphrase Neil Young, here is a new essay that’s guaranteed to bring you right down. It’s by Russ Roberts. The current state of the country and the current state of political and intellectual conversation depresses me in a way … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 8 Comments

Hanson, Hurricanes, and Price Gouging

Describing our primitive ancestors, Robin Hanson writes, when the group was stressed and threatened by dominators, outsiders, or famine, the collective view mattered less, and people reverted to more general Machiavellian social strategies. Then it mattered more who had what … Continue reading

Posted in culture | 9 Comments

Green on Green

Colin Browne writes, The end result of this project includes a big win for biking in the region: a paved, grade separated trail from Bethesda to Silver Spring. But the construction phase will include unavoidable disruptions—the entire Georgetown Branch Trail … Continue reading

Posted in culture | 4 Comments

David Byrne on dehumanizing technology

He writes, I have a theory that much recent tech development and innovation over the last decade or so has an unspoken overarching agenda. It has been about creating the possibility of a world with less human interaction. He goes … Continue reading

Posted in culture | 15 Comments

Jean Twenge watch

She writes, The result is a generation whose members are often afraid to talk to one another, especially about anything that might be upsetting or offensive. If everyone must be emotionally safe at all times, a free discussion of ideas … Continue reading

Posted in culture, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | 8 Comments

The new partisanship

Janet Hook reports in the WSJ, People who identify with either party increasingly disagree not just on policy; they inhabit separate worlds of differing social and cultural values and even see their economic outlook through a partisan lens. The wide … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 8 Comments

Re-reading David Brooks

Almost twenty years after it first appeared, I review Bobos in Paradise. What Brooks might have foreseen, but did not, was how this Bobo project would play out as it gathered momentum. In the last two decades, we have witnessed … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, culture, David Brooks, links to my essays | 9 Comments

Ralph Peters sounds like David Halberstam

Peters writes, It really comes down to that blood test: What will men die for? The answer, were we willing to open our eyes, is that more Afghans will volunteer to die for the Taliban than for our dream of … Continue reading

Posted in International issues, terrorism | 11 Comments