Category Archives: culture

Where I get news

A reader asks, What sources do you use to gather “news”? I have become quite cynical and skeptical of most major news outlets. I am certain that one must consider multiple sources of news to gather a general understanding of … Continue reading

Posted in culture | 11 Comments

Complicated vs. Complex

Jordan Greenhall writes, a complicated system is defined by a finite and bounded (unchanging) set of possible dynamic states, while a complex system is defined by an infinite and unbounded (growing, evolving) set of possible dynamic states. . . .In … Continue reading

Posted in culture, Economic education and methods | 6 Comments

The game-playing society

My latest essay. During the industrial era, the key word was systematic. Factories and assembly lines turned production into a system. We invented the discipline of political economy, which analyzed the capitalist system. From Leon Walras in the 19th century … Continue reading

Posted in culture, Economic education and methods, links to my essays | 24 Comments

Not your 1960s protests

Barton Swaim writes, a walkout is supposed to be an act of rebellion, of resistance. It involves risk. Like a strike at a factory—if you participate, you might get what you want or you might lose your job. The Enough! … Continue reading

Posted in culture, Politics | 11 Comments

The authoritarian moment

David Brooks writes, progressives are getting better and more aggressive at silencing dissenting behavior. All sorts of formerly legitimate opinions have now been deemed beyond the pale on elite campuses. Speakers have been disinvited and careers destroyed. The boundaries are … Continue reading

Posted in culture, David Brooks, International issues | 13 Comments

A metaphor for orthodoxy

From a commenter. this strikes me as the key value of conservatism: it gives people lots of index funds into which to sensibly invest their time, effort, and money. A well-civilized society has many, a barbarous one few. Traditional norms … Continue reading

Posted in culture, Three-Axes Model | 2 Comments

Nassim Taleb week, continued

My essay is called Nassim Taleb and the Disagreeables (catchy name for a rock band, perhaps?). Agreeables tend to take people’s words at face value. Disagreeables do not. One of Taleb’s themes is that people’s words are not trustworthy unless … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, culture, links to my essays | Tagged | 2 Comments

Off Topic: Cultural Appropriation and Dance

Ira Stoll is angry about a NYT interview with an Israeli modern dance choreographer. Israelis stole folk dancing from the Palestinian Arabs in an act of “cultural appropriation,” The New York Times claims. I think that he is over-reacting. In … Continue reading

Posted in culture | 8 Comments

Interesting sentences

From Michael Strong we see increased prevalence of depression, bipolar, and schizophrenia across time and culture. Our genetic heritage has clearly not changed and yet the incidence of mental illness is changing. Read the whole thing.

Posted in culture | 8 Comments

Quotation of the Day

Politics also reflects the new division. In the United States suspicion or resentment is no longer directed to the capitalists or the merely rich. It is the intellectuals–the effete snobs–who are eyed with misgiving and alarm. This should surprise no … Continue reading

Posted in business economics, culture | 5 Comments