Monthly Archives: April 2011

Is Martin Amis a concept artist (and will Christopher Hitchens be convinced by concept art)?

Martin Amis (a famous and good writer) wrote a piece in the Guardian about Christopher Hitchens. Generally, it is interesting and fun to read. But the piece culminates in an attempt to persuade Hitchens to switch from being an atheist … Continue reading

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Conspiracy Theory Question

UPDATE (Weds 10am): It looks like my blog post gave the White House the jolt of confidence they needed to go ahead and post the birth certificate! Revise the record of conspiracy theories to 0 and 11! (new update below) … Continue reading

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Malcolm Gladwell Experiment

Feel free to keep batting around ideas in the comments about where to find good deals on prescription drugs (as well as to address the question I asked at the end of the last post), but in the meantime I’ve … Continue reading

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Puzzle about Video Game Taipan

updated below – Weds 8pm Here’s a question my brother asked: There is a video game called Taipan. It can be played as a 2-player game, where the player with the most money at the end wins. You make money … Continue reading

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Constitution Confusion

In last week’s New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin complains about the Supreme Court’s recent tendency to declare laws that restrict campaign financing (e.g. in Citizens United) unconstitutional. He argues that unrestricted campaign contributions and expenditures, while they may seem to be … Continue reading

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Did Kennedy Really Blunder?

A commenter, O.Shane, disagrees with my assessment. In the comments to my previous post, he says: Jonathan, The two cases (a tax credit vs. a government donation) can be mathematically equivalent, but they are not qualitatively equivalent, because intent and … Continue reading

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Justice Kennedy blunders

The Supreme Court issued a decision (5 to 4) today that it is not a violation of the Establishment Clause of the Constitution for Arizona to give tax credits to people who donate to a scholarship fund that is used … Continue reading

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Why don’t liberals care about poor people in other countries very much?

Jonathan Cohn says, when discussing whether we should extend the Bush tax cuts (which we ultimately did, temporarily): But this debate isn’t just about budget arithmetic. It’s about morality, too. And I’m not sure that part of the debate is … Continue reading

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Steven Pinker definitely makes a logical error

This is an interesting video, but Stephen Pinker makes a statement in it that is analogous to, and just as nonsensical as, the following: It is not raining outside. Tom does not know that it is raining outside, as he … Continue reading

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David Brooks seems to make a logical error

David Brooks, in his latest column, says of Obama’s decision to wage war in Libya, “President Obama took this decision, I’m told, fully aware that there was no political upside while there were enormous political risks.” Obama couldn’t have possibly … Continue reading

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