Politics

This was a good week for “Chad bristles at side issues of massively reshared stories,” with the Vox and gender bias stories, and also this PBS piece urging parents to tell their kids science stories. That probably seems surprising, given what I do around here, but while I fully endorse the end of that piece,…

No One Needs A Moral Philosophy

Here’s something that happened this week: David Brooks wrote a bad column about secularism. In fairness, it gets off to a decent start: Over the past few years, there has been a sharp rise in the number of people who are atheist, agnostic or without religious affiliation. A fifth of all adults and a third…

This week’s Realtime with Bill Maher was just about the most perfect example I’ve seen yet that maybe reality doesn’t have a liberal bias. Due to the measles outbreak becoming a hot-button issue, and the realization that his smoldering anti-vaccine denialism would not go over well, our weekly debate host decided to instead unleash all…

Andrew Weaver is a Canadian climate scientist with numerous publications. The National Post is a Canadian newspaper generally recognized as having a conservative and Libertarian leaning. Between 2009 and 2010, the Post published four articles that seemed defamatory of Dr. Weaver’s reputation as a scientist. Weaver sued the post over this, and yesterday, the B.C.…

I’ve seen a lot of reshares of this report about the long-term effect of gender bias in elementary math, which comes from an NBER working paper about a study of Israeli schools. The usual presentation highlights one specific result, namely that on a math test graded by teachers who knew the names of the students,…

I’ve seen a bunch of re-shares of this Vox profile of a “Men’s Rights Activist” on various social media channels, with reactions varying from “This is fascinating” to “Boooo-ring.” I thought it was sort of interesting, but not really in the way it was intended to be. The thing I found most striking the way…

Five Little Pieces of Paper

Take five little pieces of paper, and write down the five things that matter most to you in your life, whatever they are. Your parents. Your partner. Your kids, Your community. Your grand passion – art or the Red Sox, guitar or hunting or knitting. Your home. Your favorite chair. Your dreams for the future.…

100 Kinds of Foster Parents

If you’ve thought about foster parenting at all, even for a couple of minutes, you probably grasp that someone has to do it. Because the truth is that kids whose parents can’t care for them has been a global problem for all of human history. It is a problem that could get better or worse…

Hand washing? Really Libertarians?

The latest entry in the “OMG really?” wars is brought to us by the libertarians, who, using the example of the brutal oppression of hand washing regulations, make total fools of themselves. Speaking during a question-and-answer session at the Bipartisan Policy Center on Monday, Tillis related a story from his tenure in the North Carolina…

On Intelligence and Talent

Probably the dumbest person I’ve ever met in my life was a housemate in grad school. I didn’t do my lab work on campus, so I wasn’t living in a neighborhood where cheap housing was rented to students, but in a place where folks were either genuinely poor, or in the market for very temporary…