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GNXP And Pinker

Gene Expression has a 10 question interview with Steven Pinker. I've always gotten the feeling that Pinker is holding back a lot of what he wants to say due to the atmosphere in academia.

Friendly note to Razib: when you get someone like Pinker or Harris interviewed for your blog, expand the post and make it appear prominently on the front page so people don't gloss over it.


This past Friday was the one-year anniversary of the Kelo decision. A couple of prior posts by my co-blogger Scott on the issue, four months and many degrees apart:

Kelo vs. New London
In Support of Kelo v. New London

Why is the US so bad at soccer?

Now that Team USA has emerged winless for the second time in the last three World Cups, the quadrennial gnashing of teeth has begun once again. As poorly as the team has historically performed in international competition, one fact that is overlooked is the popularity of soccer youth leagues. I'd guess that at least as many kids in America, if not more, play soccer as football, baseball, or basketball. There's a reason we have the term "soccer mom" but not "baseball mom". So why doesn't this popularity translate into success at the international level? A couple of theories: Read more »

You couldn\'t make this up

David Boaz on a modern-day candlemakers' petition.

Argumentation From Hatred

It generally doesn't surprise me to read the shrillness in many parts of the blogosphere, but occasionally I read something that truly boggles the mind. Sequence of events:

1) Rumors sprout that Kos might be gay.
2) Glenn Reynolds defends Kos.
3) Some Kos supporters vilify Reynolds. Read more »

Fashionable Rebellion

Amanda Fortini made the case for low-rise jeans as a political statement:

But the strongest argument for the persistence of the trend might simply be that we want to dress like the '70s because we feel like we're starring in a reprise of that decade: Our economy is bad; we're entrenched in an occupation abroad; we mistrust our government at home.

Turtles Again

An analogy from Neal at Autodogmatic.

Sound familiar? Great minds...

The fact is, it\'s tax

Len Bias And The Drug War

Radley Balko excerpts Dan Baum's Smoke and Mirrors on this 20th anniversary of Len Bias' death. Bias was one of the few college basketball players mentioned in the same breath as Michael Jordan during the 80's, though in my opinion, his legend far exceeds his potential as an NBA player. I seem to remember his death being in the 6:30 nightly news for weeks after it happened. Read more »

Libertarian Democrat? No Thanks

As everyone has already read by now, Kos calls himself a "Libertarian Democrat" by which he means "Democrat". This seems to be a repeating occurrence in the blogosphere: someone from the left creating a buzz by suggesting an alliance with libertarians. I seem to remember Belle Waring proposing something similar a year or two ago. In fact, I think one of Kos's minions did likewise back in the early days of the blogosphere.

Others have already pointed out the problems with the "progressive" side of his argument. Read more »

Zarqawi Dead...

<i>Lost</i>: Pretensions Of Depth

[cross-posted at The 'Verse where comments are enabled]

Wednesday night's season finale of Lost revealed that the full name of the Scottish hatchkeeper known as Desmond till now is actually Desmond David Hume. While the devolution of Lost from one of the best shows on television in its debut season to a poorly written, sloppily executed pulp drama in its sophomore season is tragic, that's another post for another day. The revelation of Desmond's name is representative of another series flaw: pretensions of depth.

The first season featured a paraplegic named John Locke who regained the ability to use his legs upon arriving at the island. It also introduced a character named Danielle Rousseau who had been living on the island for the past 16 years after being shipwrecked during a science expedition. A generous reading of Locke's character could perhaps draw a positive view of the state of nature interpreted by the philosopher who shares his name. Though the other Losties struggled to adjust to life on the island, Locke took it all in stride. Locke's character was independent and proficient, always at ease with his new life on the island. He hunted wild boar, tracked trails, stood up to giant smoke monsters, and generally got along with others. More than anyone else, he saw the island as a character itself, a life-force, a crucial part of his destiny.

Yet Rousseau's character showed no such parallels to the views of her namesake. A scientist in her past life, she was corrupted by the natural life of the island. Believing Sayid to be one of the Others, she did not hesitate to torture him. She had possibly even killed the rest of the expedition crew after they contracted "the sickness". Hoping to get her own daugther back in exchange, she kidnapped Claire's baby to use as barter. She is anything but a noble savage. Read more »

Quote Of The Day

FBI, stop wasting my tax dollars on trying to find Jimmy Hoffa. He's dead.

-- Charles Barkley, last night after the Suns/Mavs game

(or something close to that)

Thank You...

... to Joe Miller, Jimi Wilson, and Rick Clancy for their contributions to the Mill-fest. It was sort of a last second thing, and they put together their impressive essays in a short amount of time.

Which Interests?

I'm surprised at the number of people who see "net neutrality" as the default position for people who want the internet to remain independent and decentralized. As I see it, non-neutrality is a valid consumer choice. Not all content is equal. I don't want the federal government to regulate it. If that means having corporations decide which websites should be accessible, so be it. I can choose a different corporation from which to get my internet content; I can't choose a different federal government. Read more »