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Category Archive for 'Methodology'

I just managed to pick up the short pamphlet/book from philosopher Jason Brennan called Why Not Capitalism?  I think to get the most out of this book you would have wanted to have already been familiar with some basic economics, some elementary philosophy as well as some of the debates that have happened since Rawls wrote […]

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In my readings on political philosophy, even the most hard-core socialists, from the state-ownership clan to the anarcho-syndicalist-socialist clan seem to accede the fact that capitalism is “second best.” In other words, they craft a utopian vision for what a socialist world could look like, but since people are crooked, selfish, etc. then we must […]

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Scalia Channeling Mill

From this interview: But as law students, they were taught that the Constitution evolved, right? You got that same message consistently in class, yet you had other ideas. I am something of a contrarian, I suppose. I feel less comfortable when everybody agrees with me. I say, “I better reexamine my position!” I probably believe […]

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Borjas strikes back in the next round of paper(s) on the impact of the Mariel Boatlift on American wages.  You would not be shocked to find that he finds that the immigrants were harmful to Floridians: This fundamental error in data construction (wintercow: in the Round Three paper) contaminates the analysis and helps hide the […]

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Friday Ponderance

I was once asked by a student whether I knew of any paper that demonstrated that fracking was safe. Of course, no such paper exists, nor can it exist in theory. How might one demonstrate that there is a complete absence of risk of doing anything? Or to put the question quite another way, and […]

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Research Roundup

1. The mortgage crisis seems to have been due to borrowers at ALL income levels expecting house prices to rise. Google the term “predatory borrowing” … not quite consistent with the prevailing narrative. 2. This paper may in fact be carefully done, but the result suggesting more government spending even when output multipliers are tiny […]

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Here is David Friedman on the state of science and debate, using examples from Climate: I believe I have shown that John Cook, lead author of the article commonly cited for the claim that 97% of climate scientists support AGW, has lied in print about his own work. My argument assumed that Cook et. al. […]

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Type I and Type II Error

You thought I was going to talk about statistics? Not really. A good friend of mine happens to suffer from Type 1 diabetes, and one of my brothers played football with someone who suffers from it. I found the following information on the insulin that they must use to regulate their blood sugar and metabolism: The initial […]

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Marauding Ghoulies Cause Cancer

It seems that the burden of proof in popular argumentation is shifted to whatever favorable point we’d like to make. And believe me, people of all sides are prone to doing it. But think about some issue that causes controversy for whatever reason – climate change, eating GMO foods, vaccines and autism, and so on. […]

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Here is a good summary of the modern challenges facing philanthropists. Back when we had our student group this would have been a great topic for discussion. Aside from the obvious Hayekian concerns about knowledge and planning, the philosophical question of whether unborn future people can and should have a claim on us is difficult. […]

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