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Entries from November 2009

Don’t Go Lawnmower Man Just Yet…

November 30th, 2009 · 242 Comments

Robin Hanson defends his enthusiasm for silicon immortality against an incredulous Bryan Caplan, whose “I refute it thus” one-ups Dr. Johnson’s stone-kicking with an imagined shotgun blast to the brainpan. I’m sympathetic to Hanson’s response, and I think Caplan’s position is mostly voodoo in philosophy drag, but let’s be clear that there are a couple […]

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Tags: General Philosophy

Some Fatherly Advice on Mammograms

November 27th, 2009 · 4 Comments

Like many of my friends, I’ve been struck by the sudden backlash against the new federal guidelines recommending that women begin getting regular mammograms at age 50 rather than age 40. Surely most of the people carping (I thought) lacked the knowledge base required to know at what point the benefit of detecting and treating […]

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Tags: Science

Market Failure at 30,000 Feet?

November 24th, 2009 · 2 Comments

This actually seems like it might be a legitimate subject of regulation: “When people come together, germs can come together too,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. “There are not that many studies about flu spreading on airplanes and trains, but anytime people are close together, […]

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Tags: Markets

To Release or Not to Release

November 24th, 2009 · 9 Comments

The New York Times is catching flak for declining to post those hacked climate change e-mails, since (ho ho!) they’ve leaked classified information in the past. This strikes me as a rather silly comparison.  In the instance most of the critics are thinking about, the Times got wind of a massive and almost certainly illegal […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media

Every Man an Anchor on the Goodship Palin

November 24th, 2009 · 14 Comments

Last week over lunch, a friend and I found ourselves musing over how it was that the blogosphere—meant to free us at last from the tyranny of media gatekeepers—so often wind up stampeding after the same trivia as cable networks anchored to a 24-hour news cycle. Look, I’m ODed on the health care debate too, […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media

36 Flavors and then Summa

November 23rd, 2009 · 10 Comments

Edge runs an excerpt of Rebecca Goldstein’s new novel 36 Arguments for the Existence of God, along with the non-fiction appendix outlining those 36 popular arguments and (rather briefly) what’s wrong with them.  It mentions, in passing, philosopher Sydney Morgenbesser’s wry inversion of the infamous “Ontological Argument”: Existence is such a lousy thing, how could […]

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Tags: Religion

My Head, It Blogs!

November 17th, 2009 · 6 Comments

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Tags: Self Promotion

It’s All in the Game

November 17th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Via Radley—sometimes you forget just how many fantastic little moments they packed into this series. The really insane thing is that, just off the top of my head, I can think of a dozen other bits every bit as good as these hundred—and that’s after not having watched The Wire since it ended.  Damn but […]

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Tags: Art & Culture

Bring the Paine

November 17th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Apparently Glenn Beck is into Thomas Paine these days.  I recommend a dramatic reading from The Age of Reason. Or would inducing that level of cognitive dissonance be cruel?

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Tags: Journalism & the Media

¡Douthat Libre!

November 17th, 2009 · No Comments

Ross finally gets a blog at the Times. Glad to know you guys are listening. Now let’s talk about MoDo…

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Tags: Journalism & the Media