Archive for the 'social science' Category

New Dynamic This Election??

Michael Barone notices a pattern which may be in play this election season. I think he’s a little off in his characterization of the median-age voter, as I am one of them. But then maybe my remembering the tail-end of Vietnam, Watergate, the oil-embargoes, stagflation, and the Carter presidency, isn’t usual for those […]

The paradox of choice

An interesting TED talk on how to many choices are making us miserable. I’ve been seeing more and more people referring to these talks. Everyone I’ve sat through has been interesting in some way.

Sphere: Related Content

Milton Friedman vs. Naomi Klein

Happy New Year! To start off the year right, let’s have a look at a mock-up of a debate between Naomi Klein, reporter-activist extraordinaire, and Milton Friedman, king of economic liberty (via Instapundit).
This video was put together by Devil’s Advocate at Copious Dissent, where you can find the others in this series.
This […]

News Brief, Cake Parade Edition

Cross-posted to The Conjecturer.
Defense & The War

What, they’re accused of only murdered 14 people? Let’s see if the White Rabbit can break his weeks-long silence to defend them this time.
Well, at least they’ve finally joined the war.
Oh great. With friends like these… who says we’ll ever fix Iraq?
Max Boot has a problem, and the only […]

Oh, To Be a Fat Cat

The New York Times has a nice piece on the latest health research on the impact of weight on health. Of course, like most nutrition and weight related research we should approach it with some caution as John Tierney has discussed at great length (or breadth?)
I actually enjoy the social history in it the best. […]

You are slower than the other guy

Have you ever noticed that it often seems as of you are moving slower than the cars in the next lane? Feel as if you would be better off changing lanes? Here is why you feel that way, you are moving slower! Really, the other cars are moving faster than you. You should change lanes. […]

News Brief, Looks Just Like the Sun Edition

Seen first on The Conjecturer
Defense & The War

Mountain Runner has an excellent post up on how Congress is shirking its duties to rein in the private military corporations the administration will not. But since when has duty or public interest motivated either branch? Indeed, while it’s great there are laws on paper that handle contractor […]

Housing and the Red State-Blue State Divide

Virginia Postrel makes a point I will be exploring in more detail over the next few months in her latest essay at The Atlantic, the reasons behind the vast disparities in housing prices in our country. More interestingly she notices something I hadn’t really considered, at least not in the way she does. The cultural […]

News Brief, Tales of Taboo Edition

Cross-posted on The Conjecturer.
Defense & The War

Finally, after years of occupying their country, we’ve liberated Iraq from the burden of living in fear for collaborating with us.
P.W. Singer (again) on the devil’s bargain of PMCs. I like how he wonders how a force can be cost effective when it’s more expensive and so detrimental to […]

Cities of Men

I have not touched on the subject of the often hostile turn our culture has taken towards men, especially when it comes to their relationships with children. It is not that I don’t agree that that is a concern, in fact quite the opposite. I have in deeply personal ways been effected by this cultural […]

Iraq - A Tale of Two Wars

I’m at a loss for explaining these vastly different views. Is it mere political partisanship? Or is it something more fundamental, like having hope and optimism, or dare I say it, faith? How are these views biasing the coverage in the media?
A majority of Americans - 54% - believe the United States […]

Katrina’s Wake - A Tale of Two Cities - Part II

Thanks Michael for putting that up for me. This site (along with many of my other favorite blogs,) was on the banned list here at work for a while, and we don’t have the internet hooked up at home, having just moved.
The money quote for me is:
“We believe that when you rely on someone […]

Capitalist Genes (Updated)

Is it possible that a proclivity for capitalism is genetic, and therefore hereditary? At first blush the idea seems preposterous. How can an idea be hereditary? And how can capitalism, which rewards innovation, risk-taking, and creativity, no matter who you are or where you come from be an inherited trait? Well […]

News Brief, Pizazz We’re Gonna Give It To You* Edition

Would much rather be back at The Original Conjecturer.

How to make an EFP.
The difficulty of sea mines.
These two takes on the SCO exercises (covered in sometimes much greater depth here, at, and Bonnie Boyd’s Central Asia blog) have some interesting tidbits: the PLA has never performed a distance deployment before, and it’s a […]

Asking The Wrong Question

“Is government the answer?”
That’s probably not a question unfamiliar to most readers of ASHC, and it’s not the “wrong question” referred to in the title. In fact, I routinely present my arguments with that question as the implied premise. Unfortunately, it’s not the question asked, either explicitly or implicitly, by those who set […]

I am so enlightened

See, I am too with the new progressive era!

You Are 90% Feminist

You are a total feminist. This doesn’t mean you’re a man hater (in fact, you may be a man).
You just think that men and women should be treated equally. It’s a simple idea but somehow complicated for the world to put into action.

Are You […]

News Brief, Everything Is Everything Edition

Cross-posted on The Conjecturer.

A look at the operations in Baquba, with entire blocks of booby-trapped houses wired to explode for the troops. These kinds of delays are just what happen in warfare. But it speaks to how the insurgents are once again switching tactics: is this a new scorched earth-type policy?
Related to this is David […]

News Brief, I’m A Wheel Edition


Did you know we have to confirm Czars? The Russians would be a bit taken back. Anyway, Bush’s new redundant War Czar says Iraq is a big mess, so clearly the way to fix it is to distort the chain of command and add another layer of bureaucracy.
Did the Air Force really just give up […]

News Brief, Eany Meany Edition

Cross-posted at The Conjecturer.

Is al-Hurra, the Arabic-language Voice of America satellite channel, nothing more than an al-Jazeera clone? Hardly. One of the reasons Voice of America is as respected as it is was its willingness to broadcast news damaging to the U.S. (same with the “Radio Free” stations). It was this self-criticism that generated sympathy […]

News Briefs, Ghost in You Edition

Cross-posted at The Conjecturer. I am not posting the rest of the week, as I will be traveling.

I really like thinking the best of our guys in uniform. But the demon spawn of our rightwing radio hosts seem determined to make that incredibly difficult. Best line: “Dr. Laura has been curiously silent about her […]

News Brief, My Sundown Edition

Cross-posted on The Conjecturer

Are we losing the info war? I think we are, and attacks on al-Hurra for not being propagandistic enough when the channel already faces criticism for exactly that certainly don’t help. We could maybe start by renouncing torture, given that we lecture other countries on their use of it.
The constant back-and-forth over […]

News Brief, Brave New World Edition

Cross-posted on The Conjecturer.
The Pentagon

Ellen Tauscher wants to create a commission to assess the strategic posture of the U.S. This is a good thing, as I’m not really sure why we need thousands of warheads—the Pentagon’s scare mongering rings hollow considering our success in conventional battle, and I’m not sure how ICBMs would deter suicide […]

The real problem with “Special Interests” is that they really are not all the special

Bryan Caplan makes an argument which in addition to his explicit points, also goes to part of my rationale for opposing most campaign finance reforms and many other “good government” initiatives. They don’t attack the real problem. The Hat tip goes to Alex Tabarrok, who also begins his post with Mencken. I’ll take that suggestion:
Democracy […]

News Brief, Weekend Blurby Edition

Cross-posted at The Conjecturer.
The Pentagon

It’s funny, these kinds of scare stories about personnel shortages at the country’s spy agencies used to frustrate me. I tried for a long time to get into the CIA, but twice was I unceremoniously declined. The DIA didn’t even have the courtesy to tell me no. But I’ve adopted a […]

Is Income Inequality such a bad thing?

Gary Becker and Kevin Murphy:
Income inequality in China substantially wid­ened, particularly between households in the city and the countryside, after China began its rapid rate of economic development around 1980. The aver­age urban resident now makes 3.2 times as much as the average rural resident, and among city dwellers alone, the top 10 percent makes […]

News Brief Is Beyond Thunderdome Today

Cross-posted on The Conjecturer.
The Pentagon

Remember that time the DoD freaked out over secret Canadian radio tracking coins? Turns out some contractors were spooked by the image of a flower, and their concerns were sent without review or criticism to the entire defense industry. How embarrassing.
Iraq and Afghanistan are wearing down the airfleet. This could maybe […]

News Brief, Ship The Majestic Suffix Edition

Cross-posted at The Conjecturer.
The Pentagon

Unintended consequences: up-armored Humvees can trap soldiers inside during attacks.
Already the cost of the war has ballooned far beyond the original $50 billion price tag President Bush suggested in 2002. Where does it end? At what point does the cost become simply too much, as we spend my generation into a […]

News Brief, I Would Have Posted This Yesterday But Was At The Hospital Edition

Cross-posted on The Conjecturer.
The Pentagon

Tony Snow declared the milblogging scandal overreported, but then admitted he didn’t know what he was talking about. See for yourself if such a major change in OPSEC rules was over-done.
Lockheed Martin builds a so-called sniper targeting pod, a device that can be attached to fixed-wing aircraft and used from even […]

News Brief, Planet Unicorn Heyyy Edition

Cross-posted at The Conjecturer, where you’ll find an explanation for the edition name. I’m sorry.
The Pentagon

I think Lance should have highlighted Blackfive’s major point about the stupid restrictions on war blogs: the Pentagon has already lost the information war in the public arena. The supreme importance of competing narratives was chillingly highlighted in the […]

Racist Referees?

I haven’t read the paper, just the article, the executive summary, the discussion on the radio, at Matthew Yglesias’ and at Marginal Revolution. So maybe these points have been covered in the full paper in a satisfactory manner.
I also do not mean to imply I doubt that there are disparities in how referees call games, […]