Science

God instinct

Krugman: [T]he deepening anti-intellectualism of the political right, both within and beyond the G.O.P., extends far beyond the issue of climate change. Lately, for example, The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page has gone beyond its long-term preference for the economic

Posted in Religion, Science Tagged with: , , , ,

Secrets of the Ancient Blogging Masters – The Day Trip

(kind of a sample post based on the “How To“) Amazon.com: Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001 (9780679744757): Benny Morris: Books Really, read this book.  Just finished the first world-scene-setting chapter that closes with the birth of

Posted in History, Miscellany, Science Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

On “Testing the Weird”: Not that I believe in ’em…

…but all the above really would seem to evidence is that the first 9 items don’t “work” (don’t seem to serve those seeking to employ them) under conditions of, or in certain settings within, “modern capitalism.”  We already knew that.

Posted in Science Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

On the other side of zero

According to the Wikipedia Entry, we started to use the term “Ground Zero” for the World Trade Center site within hours of the 9/11 attacks: The adoption of this term by the mainstream North American media with reference to the

Posted in History, Science, US History Tagged with: , , ,

The Moon will probably still be there later on…

Reacting to the “zeroing out” of manned space flight in NASA’s budget – something forecasted months ago, but, according to reports, now a step closer to reality – Dafydd ab Hugh sounds some familiar themes, fortissimo, from the HotAir Greenroom

Posted in Politics, Science Tagged with: , , ,

Adventures in Epistemic Opening – Manzi vs Levin and the Fate of Everything

The fancy phrase “epistemic closure” may be a bad one, and not just because it may be too fancy by half, but when Julian Sanchez applied it to the great body of American conservatism, he touched a nerve. The claim

Posted in Politics, Science Tagged with: ,

How little you know: The Deniable Darwin by David Berlinski

The Deniable Darwin collects essays written from 1996 to 2009 mostly on the same general theme: That the insufferable pretensions and aggressive self-certainty of science ideologues prevent us from justly appreciating how much we actually have learned about the natural

Posted in Books, Science Tagged with: ,

From the Featured Archives

Noted & Quoted

TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

Comment →

Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

Comment →

[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

Comment →
CK's WP Plugins

Categories

Extraordinary Comments

CK's WP Plugins