Just as only Nixon could go to China, perhaps only a conservative could be America’s first black president. At the time, the man who ran on hope and change was seen as a forward thinking and extremely liberal man, even if his greatest policy a
chievement, the Affordable Care Act, was modeled after a social policy that came from Mitt Romney, a Republican.
That this market-driven solution to America’s inefficient and chaotic healthcare system went from a moderate right-of-center solution to a harbinger of socialist death camps in a few years is a testament to the power of right-wing rhetoric…
Economists struggle to explain why artificial intelligence will not kill all of the jobs. They are right, but the arguments they often make do not get through to non-economists. This is largely because of the premises they use; a simple thought experiment can drive the point home much more easily.
Imagine a future in which AI, robots, and automation have replaced every single job. No more janitors, and also no more actors. Everything, even novels and artwork and teaching, is done automatically, without humans at all.
In this imaginary future, I own a factory that makes rubber boots. Because everything’s…
Holy fucking shit, the last thing I or anyone else on this planet needs is a popup saying “Revisit what you were doing March 10, 2020”. Going into quarantine? Stock market crashes that made 1929 blush? Yeah, no, I’m good.
Please, please, please, Big Tech, have a heart for a change and don’t try to remind billions of people on Earth of when Life as We Know It ended and the new normal began. Mask-faced selfies, pictures and pictures and pictures of my house, screenshots of Zoom call fails and technical issues? Miss me with your enforced nostalgia.
Craft Beer in Thailand, Part 1: The Current State of Affairs
Despite the tremendous challenges caused by COVID-19 effectively ending tourism in Thailand, the current state of craft beer in the country is relatively healthy. This is in part because of the popularity of craft beer amongst Thais rather than tourists; one bartender at a very popular craft beer bar in one the central tourist areas of Bangkok once told me that 70% of their clientele were Thai, and 30% foreigners; of that 30%, most were expats, meaning that tourist visits to craft beer bars in the country were rare.
In President Donald Trump’s recent town hall event, he asserted that he is underlevered while refusing to confirm whether the $412 million debt level reported by the New York Times is true or not. If we assume it is, can we say whether Trump is underlevered or overlevered, and can we assess whether his debt load, which comes to term in the next four years, is really a national security risk?
Richard Sennett’s Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation is a jumbled mess of disparate anecdotes brought together in a near stream-of-consciousness narrative that illuminates little and does little to encourage cooperation over competition. This is no surprise; as a professor of sociology, Sennett has likely encountered little game theory (or, if he has, he has clearly missed its value). To be sure, Sennett’s pleasure in narrative and paucity of figures demonstrates either a distrust for quantitative analysis or a lack of skill in harnessing it to prove a point.
That doesn’t mean Sennett won’t use figures when they…
This essay is full of spoilers for both movies — do not read until you’ve watched both.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things is a sequel to Synecdoche, New York, and their relationship is made unusually clear by Charlie Kaufman, who has a well deserved reputation for making complex movies that do not try to make their messages clear — in fact, movies that make their messages clear are one of the things Kaufman rightly attacks in this movie.
If Synecdoche, New York is about a man who cannot write a play as he lives his life, I’m Thinking of Ending…
The Guardian, quite unsurprisingly, has written a vicious attack of hedge funds for their greed and rapacious wealth. Titled “Hedge funds ‘raking in billions’ during coronavirus crisis”, the article is designed to inspire the kind of apoplectic rage that one is used to seeing from articles in the Sun targeting welfare mooches.
And the Guardian’s effort is just as yellow journalism, misinformed, ignorant, and disingenuous as anything Murdoch’s rags would have ever dreamed of printing.
Simply put, it is a fantastic exemplar of left-wing media leveraging envy and financial illiteracy amongst their readership to stoke rage. First, the Guardian writes:
“Some books are undeservedly forgotten; none are undeservedly remembered.” — W. H. Auden
There are many great writers remembered for their contributions to humanity; Chaucer, Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Dickinson, Hemingway. But how many great writers are not remembered because their contributions were lost to the sands of time?
When Max Brod defied Kafka’s request that his papers be destroyed, Brod’s justification was simple: if Kafka had wanted his work to be forgotten, he would have destroyed them himself. And, anyway, these were masterpieces too great, too important for humanity to lose. And so we are blessed with stories of men turned…
Why Jordan Peterson is Popular
I think I’ve finally figured out why Jordan Peterson has become so incredibly popular, despite the fact that he’s clearly insane.
In the early to mid 2000’s, I was an avid reader of the blog Lifehacker. I also found many similar websites about minimalism and tips and tricks for everyday life.
I may have read about hundreds, if not thousands, of nifty ways to make my life better. I only remember — and still use — one such trick (how to neatly wrap up earbuds so they don’t get knotted in your pocket). …