Monthly Archives: March 2010

The Catholic Church and Child Rape

There has been a lot of astonishing tone-deafness in the media response to the increasing evidence that the pope personally presided over the systematic coverup of child molestation and rape. And do let’s call it by its name; don’t allow … Continue reading

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Billy Madison Was a Neuroscientist

Some interesting neuroscience today: Jonah Lehrer relays an interesting study that shows college students perform better on creativity tests after they’ve been told to imagine themselves as 7 years old. Just the suggestive power of being told to act like … Continue reading

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Sam Harris on Science and Objective Morality

I’ve been thinking a lot about this fascinating TED talk by Sam Harris, on the ability of science to discern objective human values and answer seemingly qualitative moral questions of right and wrong: I’ve also been thinking a lot about … Continue reading

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Sometimes 2+2=5

David Brooks has a good column today on the financial crisis and the limited utility of economics in explaining and predicting human behavior: One gets the sense, at least from the outside, that the intellectual energy is no longer with … Continue reading

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Well I feel A Bit Better About Things…

Clearly the Six-Party-Talk members are avid readers of PoliticsInVivo: Experts from South Korea, the U.S. and China will meet in China next month to share information on North Korea, assess possible contingencies in the country, and consider ways to cooperate … Continue reading

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North Korea Instability-Watch, Updated

Last week I wrote of my bemusement at the longevity and stability of modern totalitarian societies. I asked, “How can such squalor and oppression last for so damn long?…Do North Koreans really believe the maniacal propaganda spoon-fed them from birth? … Continue reading

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Nothing Succeeds Like Success

Megan McArdle claimed that Republicans had "pursuaded the country that they don’t want this bill" and she argued that that should have been reason enough to kill the whole thing. Luckily nobody listened to Megan, because it seems that passing … Continue reading

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Health Care and the Noble Lie

Megan McArdle, in full you’ll-all-be-sorry mode: One cannot help but admire Nancy Pelosi’s skill as a legislator. But it’s also pretty worrying. Are we now in a world where there is absolutely no recourse to the tyranny of the majority? … Continue reading

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Other Stuff in the Health Care Law

In addition to the mandate/insurance regulation/subsidies, there’s a lot of other stuff packed into the health care law (calling it a law rather than a bill or a proposal is gonna take some getting used to). Much of it has … Continue reading

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The Dawn of John McCain’s Senility

There’s a part in The Sun Also Rises where Bill asks Mike how he went bankrupt: “Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually and then suddenly.” I always liked that line, and I think it pretty accurately describes a whole range of … Continue reading

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Cost, Cost, Cost

Another potent criticism of the health bill is that it doesn’t do enough to tackle the real problem: spiraling costs. And despite the CBO estimate that the bill will cut the national deficit by $143 billion in the first ten … Continue reading

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In Bizarre Twist, Talk of Actual Policy Dominates the Nation’s News Outlets

To my point earlier on how misrepresentations and distortions about health care reform were a whole lot easier before the thing became (almost) law: the major newspapers today have undertaken a grand pivot away from sports metaphor-laden coverage of the … Continue reading

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What Have You Done For Me Lately?

A pretty decent criticism of the health bill is that it doesn’t do much for a whole lot of people, and it doesn’t accomplish much of anything for several more years. To the first criticism: while it’s true that after … Continue reading

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Now the Actual Debate About Health Care Can Begin

A few weeks ago, Nancy Pelosi was making a case for health care reform, and she argued, "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it." It was a rather impolitic thing to … Continue reading

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Totalitarian Friday!

The weather’s so nice out today, I figure what better way to celebrate it than to go on a whirlwind virtual tour of the few remaining totalitarian hell-holes left on the planet. Libya? North Korea? I’m looking at you. I … Continue reading

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