Yearly Archives: 2021

Archive of posts published in the specified Year

The Cost of Politicizing Science

“So those who believe in science as philosophy are increasingly estranged from science as an institution.”

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Framing Speculation as Proof

“One motivation: Pessimism sells. “You don’t get blamed for being too pessimistic, but you do get attention. It’s like climate science. Modeled forecasts of a future that is scary is much more likely to get you on television.”

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The Seduction of Judicial Moral Truth

“Why wait until one can build popular majorities and win elections on your policy platform when unelected judges could give you the results now? Why should judges rely on broadly accepted principles of limited government when they could instead enforce polarizing but substantively rich principles of the public good? “

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CRT as Racial Calvinism

“So critical race theory, protesting the old injustice, embraces its lie. This is not progress but revenge. The motive is not justice but payback, lex talionis—an understandable, if Balkan, impulse. Beware a hedgehog claiming the immunities of an innocent victim. Beware when victimhood is his One Big Thing.”

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Illiberal Ideology Brings Illiberal Methods

“An advocate for unaccountable, totalitarian control of our society is the darling of every single elite institution in America, and is routinely given platforms where no tough questioning of him is allowed.  He is as dumb as Obama is smart; as crude as Obama is nuanced; as authoritarian as Obama is liberal.”

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Why CRT Is Doomed

“Hiring practices and workplaces should be fair and welcoming to all, employees say, but mandatory diversity training premised on the ubiquity of “unconscious racism” and “white fragility” is coercive and insulting.”

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A Foundation of Yesterdays

” If critical race theory were critical in any meaningful sense (a more descriptive name might be self-satisfied race theory), it would critically explain why those politicians most answerable to black voters seem to do so little to improve their lot.”

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Successor Ideology

Andrew shuns the authoritarianism of the GOP’s cult of personality and the illiberal squelching of opinion and commentary of the ‘woke’ left.  If the Democrats do not wrestle control from its illiberal woke element it only feeds the reactionary right. It is more important to stand for clearly articulated liberal principles than to define yourself by what you stand against.

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Woke Illiterates

“There is no shortage of books about slavery or America’s founding, and none of them have been written by Ms. Hannah-Jones. To what, other than her race and politics, does she owe all this deference?”

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Fighting to Retain Enlightenment Values

They are not blind to the shortcomings of those ideals, nor are they willing to ignore the value of those ideals.  Only by demonizing Enlightenment values can we find racism in math and science.  In reacting to CRT as they are they are fighting to retain Enlightenment values.

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The Agent Principal Problem

Because socialism always begins with a man in a workshirt and ends with a guy dressed up as Cap’n Crunch,

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The Sanctuary of the Courts

The difference between progressives and conservatives today is far greater than their positions on issues; that is merely a distraction.  There is a fundamental difference between their position on the purpose of government, their understandings of human nature and knowledge,  and their philosophy that ensues from that understanding.

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Progressive Contradictions and Ironies

The first contradiction is the drive to greater democracy while driving more policy making to unelected administrators. Progressive thinkers like Goodwin, Wilson, and Dewey had a faith that bureaucrats would better serve the public interest objectively than elected officials.  They replaced the separation of powers with the separation of politics from administration. Their belief that administration would not be subject to political partisanship seems naive today.

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The General Will

Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson turned this upside down, contending that property rights should be determined according its ability to serve the greater good, the general will. This shift of the Progressive Era from the primacy of minority rights to a majoritarian will defines the progressive shift in American politics.  The question is who or what determines the will of the majority. For Wilson it was the president as the sole official elected by all the people.

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The Inorganic Constitution

A mechanical view is not an obstruction to progress. An organic view is less flexible in its design than we need and it depends on an expertise and competency that is illusory.

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The Negative Job Value of the Ivy League

So for a high premium price the Ivy League provides negative value. Students are either coddled or cowards. Getting expelled may increase your job value.  Woke is a liability in the job market outside of academia and a few government positions.

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Will Banning Trump from Facebook be Counterproductive?

The media would be better to trust their users than to damage their own credibility. The rules should be clear and simple about what is allowed and should be followed strictly regardless of content.  No one who is suspended should be surprised and a suspension should not be judged by a board that will only  likely reflect an organization’s internal bias.

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Trust Evidence, Not People

“You consider their motivations, their ideological biases and their conflicts of interest. You interrogate their advice, and weigh it against that of their critics. You exercise diligence. You ask questions. You trust in evidence, not in people. You think for yourself.”

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Social Media Bypasses Important Mediating Institutions

“We need mediating institutions, because human beings are capable of extraordinarily evil things and very much prone to banal evil and petty corruption — and easily seduced by the crude stimulation of mere novelty.”

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The Bulverism of Identity Politics

“In other words, you must show that a man is wrong before you start explaining why he is wrong. “

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