A Stupid Strategy

I have long wondered why it is OK in our society to be so (at least superficially) concerned with racism, ageism, sexism, lookism, etc. but stupidity is fair game. I have heard a few tentative defenses of this policy (which mostly fall under the meritocracy line of thinking), but none is very satisfying. But this…
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The Happy Poor

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2725840/Hope-amid-squalor-The-smiling-children-Manila-slums-overcoming-filth-poverty-homes.html

Two new posts, one on Econlog and one on Facebook, made me reflect on poverty. The first is a post by (the incredible) Bryan Caplan, who talks about a research showing that people in richer neighborhood are not generally happier and sometimes less happy than people in less affluent neighborhoods.  The second was a long,…
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The Dersh Paradox

Serious allegations of sexual misconduct have been raised against Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz. The type of allegations that can ruin one’s life achievements. By some weird quirk of the legal system, Professor Dershowitz is unable to defend himself against these allegations in a court of law, as he lucidly explains. What caught my eye,…
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The Argument from Expectations Fallacy

A friend ranted to me about the facts of a libel case (Israel). In this case, a Facebook discussion between a PUA and a feminist expectedly heated up. The feminist called the PUA a “low-life” and charitably added that she has no doubt that “throughout his life, he has committed rape.” Serious accusations, no doubt,…
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The Trauma of Bad Service

This Vox article has a few interesting tidbits, like the origin of the custom of the ‘toast’ and kethcup. But most interestingly it claims that people exhibit signs of a minor trauma when they write a one-star review on Yelp and the such: “Social psychologists have looked at cases of trauma and the language people use…
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Crisis Management and the Theory of the Nudnik

This weird story has been receiving some attention on Facebook and elsewhere: Professor Edelman is a Harvard Business School professor who ordered Chinese food off the web menu of a local Chinese restaurant only to discover that he was overcharged for each of the four items by $1. Apparently, the restaurant updated their menu and,…
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DnD Scripting

One of the greatest sources of suspense, surprise, and mystery in DnD games comes from the sense that anything could happen.  For example, there is a convention that a roll of 20 could lead to extreme fortunate results (or unfortunate in the case of 1), which is a source of suspense, humor, and a lot of…
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What is a Good Amount of Bankruptcy?

In the US, there have been 728,833 chapter 7 bankruptcy filings (complete insolvency) and 333,626  filings in chapter 13 (repayment plan).  This averages at 1 bankruptcy per 301 people. In Israel, there are now reports of rising  bankruptcy filings (reported here in Hebrew). The numbers look, after the increase, small: 11,300 stay orders in 2013. This averages at 1…
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Promoting Moral Behavior or Moral Choices?

On most issues of law and morality, I am an instrumentalist, functionalist, and consequentialist: I think of laws as being either good or bad in relation to their outcomes rather than their meaning, adherence to moral principles, or consistency. But this view is not generally accepted, and many legal theorists adopt some mixed approach that…
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Arguing from Legacy and the Failure to Fail

epSos.de

I had an interesting conversation with a friend from Spain. I inquired about the Spanish perception of the monarch tradition, which — to me at least — symbolizes that people are psuedo-biologically different (the so-called bloodline of the monarch), an idea which is antithetical to a liberal society, which is mostly based on the ethos…
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