Links – 07/16/2017

  • The Atlantic has a good piece on the growth of left-wing websites peddling conspiracy theories since Trump’s election. I have to say that I don’t really think these websites are what is really problematic. Most educated people don’t really take them seriously, just as they don’t take seriously right-wing nonsense, but they do take seriously newspapers such as the New York Times. These are widely considered trustworthy, even though on many sensitive issues they are just propaganda outlets, only it’s less obvious than a website that claims a tape showing Trump being pissed on by Russian prostitutes will be released next week. The fact that the New York Times has the appearance of seriousness is precisely what makes it so pernicious.
  • You have heard about the controversy on Charles Murray’s podcast with Sam Harris. After the podcast was released, Vox published a piece that violently attacked Murray, but was incredibly dishonest. However, after this piece was published, a bunch of responses were written and it turned out to be a pretty interesting debate. This webpage has a breakdown of the controversy with the links. See also this post on Medium which is quite interesting.
  • Brian Boutwell argues that parents don’t have a lot of influence on how their children turn out. He does a good job at distinguishing between shared and non-shared environments, a very important distinction that most people don’t know about.
  • Spotted Toad argues on Twitter that Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion significantly increased drug overdose in the states that took advantage of it. It’s kind of unexpected, but I find the argument pretty convincing. This thread is based on analyses he posted on his blog previously.
  • FAIR published a good article on how the New York Times finally corrected, after 1,379 days, a piece which asserted that Iran sponsored 9/11. It makes several very apt observations about the editorial standards of the New York Times and how they depend on how the country it’s reporting on has good relationships with the US. Of course, if you read this blog frequently, you already know that.