Links – 09/12/2017

  • Gregory Cochran wrote a review of Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond in his usual ruthless style. Some people might think that he spends too much time on Diamond’s ridiculous claim about the people of Papua New Guinea, but I think he’s right to do so. There won’t be a honest debate about that issue until people are called out every time they engage in that kind of virtue signaling.
  • Slate published a story about the convention of the Democratic Socialists of America in August which explains some of the issues that were at stake. A few days before the convention opened, Adolph Reed was on the Dead Pundits Society podcast, to discuss a resolution that proposed the DSA formally recognize the “Afro-socialist and Socialists of Color Caucus”. Reed, who I think is one of the greatest American political commentators, explained why he was against it and, in the process, made a lot of great points. Of course, the delegates at the convention nevertheless voted in favor the resolution, because at this point trying to convince a group of American leftists to sideline identity politics is basically impossible.
  • Emily Yoffe wrote a great piece for The Atlantic about the unhinged ideology about how to deal with allegations of rape that has taken over American campuses and the role Obama’s administration played in that development. I’m glad she pointed out that, despite what some incompetent and/or dishonest scholars claim, we don’t actually know how common false accusations of rape are.
  • On the blog of the People’s Policy Project, the think tank he created, Matt Bruenig explains how Norway manages its social wealth fund and argues that it doesn’t behave as a passive investor but seeks to influence the companies in which it invests.
  • John Paul Wright and Matt DeLisi wrote a very good article in City Journal about the left-wing bias in criminology and the effects it has on what criminologists say about policy. I disagree with some details, but overall I think it’s excellent. On a related issue, I will soon publish a follow-up to my post on police shootings of blacks, where I will look at what the data show about the reality of police violence in the US.

5 thoughts

    1. I think it’s not that difficult to figure out if you read me on a regular basis, it’s just that my views don’t really fit into any of the categories typically used, but I’m still glad to hear that. I try to read as many things which defend views I disagree with as possible. Since I disagree with most of the views people around me accept, it’s probably easier for me that for most people. That’s one of the underappreciated benefits of being a member of an ideological minority.

        1. Well, he’s obviously conservative with respect to some social issues (e.g., crime, affirmative action, race/sex, maybe gender), but I don’t know that he’s free market with regard to economic issues, I don’t know how he feels about abortion or gay marriage or gun control, and I suspect that on foreign policy he leans left.

          1. > I don’t know that he’s free market with regard to economic issues,

            Fair enough. Perhaps one also needs to read the French part of his Twitter feed, e.g.:

            https://twitter.com/phl43/status/909416386065203200

            While I agree with you that it’s more interesting to read an argument that does not convey the usual talking points, a point of view from nowhere (wink wink) usually indicates Very Serious stances.

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