Jordan Peterson Zizek Debate

Vox Day is at it again: Jordan Peterson humiliates himself. Um…except that: No one really cares what The Guardian, which is a second-rate British newspaper, says; not Dr. Peterson’s fans, nor Zizek’s fans. The New York Times or the WSJ carries weight; The Guardian doesn’t,…

Peter Turchin is (probably) wrong about crisis, again

A few days ago I wrote about fake experts, who are taken seriously by the media despite having little to no credentials and having generally bad and or unoriginal ideas, but that does not mean actual credentialed experts are also immune from having bad ideas….

Were the Victorians smarter? Probably not

I’m sure many have heard about a 2013 study that purports that people of the Victorian era were smarter than current-day people, which has gotten considerable media attention. Reaction times – a reliable marker of general intelligence – have declined steadily since the Victorian era…

The Mueller Report, Part 2

On April 18th, the Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election, was released to Congress and the public, which, predictably, exonerated Trump from accusations of collusion with Russia. And yet again, I was right that it would be a nothing-burger….

Fake Experts

Having a lot of money means erroneous, bad, or unoriginal opinions are taken seriously and take precedence over experts and ‘good’ opinions (at least by the media; academia is more discriminating). Predictions of AI risk are a dime a dozen, but when Elon Musk opines…

The Competence Bubble

Scott’s epic article Increasingly Competitive College Admissions: Much More Than You Wanted To Know, went viral. At the end, this passage stood out: I became interested in this topic partly because there’s a widespread feeling, across the political spectrum, that everything is getting worse. I…

The ’90s and now, part 2

Indeed, it’s not your imagination that America feels more partisan and divided than ever: it’s supported by polling data going back as far as Franklin Delano Roosevelt, which shows that Trump’s approval rating has hovered in the tightest range of any president, at around 38-45%….

China’s ‘Fake’ Economic Data: Why I’m Not Concerned

In recent years there has been an obsession that China’s economic data is ‘fake’. A March 7, 2019, Brookings article, which went viral, A forensic examination of China’s national accounts, estimates that China’s GDP growth from 2008-2016 is 1.7 percentage points lower than the official…

The ’90s and now, part 1

Ross Douthat is nostalgic for the ’90s, in a viral article, writing: But as a statement about generational experiences, Alter was basically right. If you were born around 1980, you grew up in a space happily between — between eras of existential threat (Cold War/War…