Category Archives: Opinion

Living with Risk

One of the most messed-up things in modern American culture is that we don’t cope well with risk — or at least the knowledge of risk. Risk is UNAVOIDABLE. The risk of terrorism, police violence, crime, car accidents, and falling … Continue reading

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What might it mean if Pluto is geologically active?

This week, we saw this on Pluto: This surface has no yet-identified impact craters in it. Instead, there are very tall mountains of unknown geology, some weird puffy deposits near the limb, obscuring underlying geology, a rille I cannot explain, … Continue reading

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Three Kinds of Poverty

I’ve seen a number of nonsensical conflations of different poverty issues go by in various social media feeds today. I think a major problem is that people seem to think that poverty is just one issue — and they keep … Continue reading

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Why Do Fans Want Artists to Make Money?

I enjoyed watching Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy a lot at the theater. It’s got a lot going for it — clever writing, interesting characters, some impressive CG (that technology has come a long way!), and more. One thing I … Continue reading

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Them and Us

Getting anywhere and doing anything of significance in this world requires cooperation, which implies the need for consensus and – to some degree or other – compromise. We don’t have to agree on everything in order to work together. I … Continue reading

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A Brief Reflection on the “Consent of the Governed”

We are far more protected by good will and human decency than by governments or police. This is an aspect of human nature that is vastly under-appreciated. When government collapses temporarily — such as in a time of disasters, what generally … Continue reading

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Economists and the ‘As If’ Argument

Really nice post from “Unlearning Economics”.  We should model our ideas of economics on the behavior of real humans, not ideal economically-rational automatons: Economists and the ‘As If’ Argument. I would add that, most of the time, when natural intelligence … Continue reading

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