This post comes as a case study. While we shouldn’t strictly endorse the position, it has great power: it shows how good intentions can run into structures, incentives, and systems. When good intentions don’t address the wider system, there are unintended consequences. These unintended consequences can be the heart of how good ideas go wrong. Enjoy.Read More
Next time you see a successful company or politician doing something controversial, just consider: who is being targeted? If you're getting angry, it's probably not you. If you're getting excited, you're the one being manipulated by the advertising.Read More
I was recently in Ireland! In fact I was around for the Pope’s visit, along with the World Meeting of Families. The Catholic Church a very long and controversial legacy in Ireland, so all of this was a big deal. I am just wise enough about Ireland to know that I know nothing, and the point of this post is not to weigh in on Irish politics. So I will refrain.
However the Pope’s visit did indeed lead to a whole lot of conversation about the Church’s legacy and some of the big political/religious/moral issues on the Irish table, as well as the American table. One was about gay couples and adoption.Read More
A reader and good friend reminded me recently that I wrote my thesis on the idea of Power Transitions in geopolitics. If you are a super-nerd of geopolitics or international relations it is just the thing for you right after you finish the latest Harry Potter spin-off.
They reminded me of it because he believes it's precisely what we're seeing in the United States that is leading to such strife. Let's expand on that idea.Read More
I live in Boston, so I get to hear a lot of concerns about Trump as president.
Every president gets flak, often unfair or hyperbolic, from people in the political opposition.
But there's something unique about opposition to Trump that I haven't heard said about Bush, McCain, Romney, or Rubio/Kasich/Cruz: there is a strong strain of opinion that Trump is fundamentally unfit to be president.
When Mike Pence gets brought up as an alternative, a very important litmus test occurs.Read More
I think it was ABC World News Tonight that, last night (June 4) called the Supreme Court's cake-maker decision a "bombshell" ruling. That is false, it is not.
CNN claims--I roll my eyes--that the ruling somehow "fuels the debate on gay rights." Please.
In a hyperpartsian era full of 5-4, "partisan line" Supreme Court decisions, it's incredibly important to recognize how different this was. It was not partisan, it was not narrow, it was not a "bombshell," and it doesn't fuel anything.Read More
Plato wrote about it in Republic; Machiavelli wrote about it in The Prince and Discourses on Livy.
What they saw through the history of governments, and what they predicted in the future, was a cycle. Perhaps an endless one. Fukuyama said history ended. He may be wrong.Read More
Imagine with me a happy, hand-shakey, bipartisan Congress. We're working across party lines, we're passin' bills, and everything's good.
Right now we're so far from that vision that I am almost afraid to malign it, but malign it I shall.Read More