Tag: public policy

  • Democracy and the Good Life: Saving Democracy from Ideology

    Democracy and the Good Life: Saving Democracy from Ideology

    In my past four posts, I argued that democracy (like capitalism) has significant benefits if you’re trying to build an ethical life, but that many of those benefits are squandered due to the exploitation of political marketplaces and the growth of what I’ve called Consumer Packaged Ideology. In the economic sphere, we are marketed to by…

  • The Discipline We Demand, The Price We Pay

    The Discipline We Demand, The Price We Pay

    The idea that people in Western society are extraordinarily disciplined may be surprising. Yet few societies have ever asked for as much discipline as ours. It’s a burden not everyone can bear. For these people, the freedom of liberal society is a literal hell, and the help of the welfare state just another ball-and-chain.

  • How to Think About…the Trump Indictments

    How to Think About…the Trump Indictments

    Our times seem to demand partisanship. While there is very little to be for (Biden/Trump anyone?), there is a great deal to actively hate. It is a situation that makes partisanship easy. Nor is it easy to resist the demands of partisans, loaded as they are with the undeniable proof of the sins of their…

  • Capital and Ideology and Ideology and Ideology

    Capital and Ideology and Ideology and Ideology

    Not many authors have ever made as big a cultural splash as Thomas Piketty did with Capital. His 2019 follow-up, Capital and Ideology, is a big book dedicated to the same general themes but expanding their scope both philosophically, historically and geographically. At the very beginning of Capital and Ideology, Piketty steps outside the narrative…

  • Apollo, the X-Prize and the Art of Making Better People

    Apollo, the X-Prize and the Art of Making Better People

    I’ve been listening to Julian Guthrie’s “How to Build a Spaceship” which tells the story of the X-Prize, the $10 million prize that helped kickstart the private space industry and transform the space program. It’s a compelling story with dozens of fascinating people, from Burt Rutan and Paul Allen (who ultimately won the prize) to…

  • Ars Technica and Public Health Experts Win a LAZY

    Ars Technica and Public Health Experts Win a LAZY

    Technically, Beth Mole’s (Senior Health Reporter for Ars) write-up of her short panel with two public health experts on learnings from Covid doesn’t really qualify for a LAZY. It’s a perfectly reasonable overview of what was discussed. This LAZY really goes to the panel discussion, to lazy answers, and lazier follow-ups. Small kudos to Ken…

  • College: America’s 4 Year Queue

    College: America’s 4 Year Queue

    There’s been much discussion lately around various aspects of education and policy – from AP classes to book “banning” to school choice. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. The single most important part of any culture is what it teaches people: the skills we teach, the attributes we mold and reward in the young, and…

  • Section 230: Why Push vs. Pull is THE Critical Distinction

    Section 230: Why Push vs. Pull is THE Critical Distinction

    Understanding a basic distinction between “push” and “pull” mechanisms makes the right path for Section 230 clear. The debate over Section 230 is one of those unfortunately common cases where an issue has been sucked into the great consumer packaged ideology wars despite having almost no ideological content. The left and the right each have…

  • Dr. Fauci and the Public Life

    Dr. Fauci and the Public Life

    The recent retirement of Dr. Anthony Fauci is a good time to reflect on the virtues and perils of a public life. Because so much of that life and our knowledge of it is colored by the last few years and the Covid pandemic, during which he became nearly as recognizable and almost as ubiquitous…