Bathroom Bills and Wedging: The Sequel

Bathroom Bills and Wedging: The Sequel

So our last post ended up stirring up far more controversy than I had imagined. People believed I was making a case for the North Carolina bathroom bill, being deliberately deceptive, or deliberately trolling for an emotional response. So obviously some lessons to be learned as a blogger, as of course the response I was looking for was "oh that's interesting I learned something." 

I got to think about it in a lot of dead travel time over the weekend, and I want to take my best crack at my current hypothesis about what the suggests to us about the state of play in American politics.

Read More
Comment



Do Liberals Misunderstand Conservatives' Feelings about the Bathroom Bill?

Do Liberals Misunderstand Conservatives' Feelings about the Bathroom Bill?

At a group dinner one day with the more liberal group, I heard something to the effect of, "conservatives think transgender people are perverts," and that this was at the root of the "bathroom bills" enforcing gender separation. 

That struck me as odd. 

Read More
6 Comments



Bad News for Those Feeling Smug About Brexit's Economic Slump

Bad News for Those Feeling Smug About Brexit's Economic Slump

The conclusion was drawn--Brexit was a terrible economic decision--put in a box, and packed away to be pulled out and shown, without re-examination, at the next cocktail party where we're trying to impress folks with how worldly we are.

I decided today to pop back into the box and dust it off.

Read More

The Reformer's Dilemma: Environmentalism Edition

The Reformer's Dilemma: Environmentalism Edition

Environmentalism is all about the numbers. If you want to reduce a certain pollutant like CO2, what you do is really "environmental" only if it reduces those pollutants.

Knowing whether you're doing that is hard. Often we do stuff that seems to have an intuitive link to improving the environment, but the link isn't always there, or isn't there in the way we think.

Read More
Comment



The Origin of Extreme Ideas

The Origin of Extreme Ideas

Recently, I had a conversation that disturbed me. Perhaps what was most disconcerting was that it was with someone who is extraordinarily intelligent and a successful expert in their field, conservation biology.

Read More
Comment



How Big is the Gender Pay Gap? As Big as You Want it!

How Big is the Gender Pay Gap? As Big as You Want it!

Enough people have asked me a particular sticky question that I decided I’d take a crack at it.

“How big is the gender pay gap?” (That is, the gap between what women and men are paid in the United States.) 

After much research, I have found a decisive answer: “It’s as big as you want it to be.” 

Read More
3 Comments



Incentives and Greed, Villains and Systems

Incentives and Greed, Villains and Systems

Pharmabro. Epipen. Price on medicine that’s important to lots of folks has caught the attention of the country; it’s followed by massive public outcry and, of course, lots of rage. The CEOs are evil, the pharmaceutical companies are evil, possessing some powerful evil recruitment system that many other industries lack. Maybe corporations are evil or just the love of money is evil. However expressed, greed is the problem.

So let’s get mad at all these folks, let’s shame them, post on Facebook about them. Maybe that’ll fix things.

Read More
Comment



How You Got Wedged

How You Got Wedged

Have you ever wondered why it seems the people that disagree with you are so unreasonable?

Read More
Comment



Why Count Olympic Medals?

Why Count Olympic Medals?

I'll admit, I found myself checking the Olympic medal count daily, and felt little stirrings of patriotism as the Americans kicked off the first Gold win in air rifle, and then really started haulin' 'em in during swimming, gymnastics, and track & field. But I had a moment where I asked myself why I cared at all that the United States had the most medaling athletes.

Read More
Comment