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Entries from October 2012

Third Parties and the Moral Logic of Voting

October 31st, 2012 · 20 Comments

Yglesias takes aim at a familiar genre of argument for voting for a third party: I’ve noticed that various anti-Obama pro-third-party arguments on the Internet proceed with an annoying two step. Usually the headline and the lede of the piece will be very focused on Obama, the evils of Obama, and the braindeadness of the […]

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Tags: General Philosophy · Horse Race Politics

Counterfeiting Intentions

October 25th, 2012 · 32 Comments

I was a bit taken aback on Wednesday to read a piece by a Kate Sheppard in Mother Jones—a smart climate reporter for a smart progressive magazine–trying to gin up the kind of phony controversy I would have thought beneath either the author or the outlet. The story focuses on a draft of a report […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media

Offense 101

October 23rd, 2012 · 25 Comments

American politics sometimes seems like a contest to see which group of partisans can take greater umbrage at the most recent outrageous remark from a member of the opposing tribe.  As a mild countermeasure, I offer a modest proposal for American universities. All freshmen should be required to take a course called “Offense 101,” where […]

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Tags: Academia · Horse Race Politics

Stop, Hey, What’s That Sound?

October 22nd, 2012 · 43 Comments

The first time I heard the Divine Fits’ debut album, I remember thinking that the members of Spoon must be peeved that someone had so perfectly emulated the band’s sound as to produce what could pass for the best Spoon album since 2002’s Kill the Moonlight. After a quick Wikipedia search, of course, I realized […]

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Tags: Art & Culture

Blasphemy and Public Reason

October 19th, 2012 · 11 Comments

I’ve noticed something interesting about Western press reports on the protests over the “Innocence of Muslims” YouTube trailer. Typically, but perhaps surprisingly when you think about it, the protesters quoted in these articles do not simply, as one might expect, say that insults to Islam or its prophet are an outrage against the one true […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy · Religion

Much Ada About Nothing

October 16th, 2012 · 26 Comments

I love the idea behind Ada Lovelace Day: Celebrating the neglected contributions of women in science and technology in order to encourage young women to pursue careers in stereotypically male fields where, all too often, a “boys club” environment continues to reign. But I really wish this effort could pick a better mascot than Ada […]

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Tags: Tech and Tech Policy

Why Do Intellectuals Favor Government Solutions?

October 9th, 2012 · 30 Comments

Back in the 1980s, the late philosopher Robert Nozick wrote an essay asking: “Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism?” Happily, the question as Nozick framed it is somewhat less relevant today, as Western intellectuals have increasingly accepted the superiority of some form of market economy to full-blown socialist planning. But a variant form remains: Why do […]

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Tags: Libertarian Theory