The Whole City Is Center by Scott Alexander – “Words both convey useful information, and shape our connotations and perceptions. While we can’t completely ignore the latter role, it’s also dangerous to posit fundamental value differences between people who use words one way and people who use them another. My concern is that I’ve seen people say ‘I am the kind of person who doesn’t believe in laziness, or in punishment, or in judging others. But that guy over there accuses people of being lazy, wants people to suffer, and does judge others. Clearly we have fundamental value differences and must be enemies.’ All I’m trying to do is say that those people may have differing factual beliefs on how to balance the information-bearing-content of words versus their potential connotations. If we understand the degree to which other people’s differences from us are based on factual rather than fundamental value differences, we can be humbler and more understanding when we have to interact with them.”
On Laziness by Ozy – Stories of how people seemed ‘lazy’ until small changes were made to the situation.
Dani Rodrik on Trade by The Ezra Klein Show – “For decades, Harvard’s Dani Rodrik has been a lonely voice in the economics profession warning that the academics were getting this one wrong. Trade is not an unalloyed good; ‘globalization would deepen societal divisions, exacerbate distributional problems, and undermine domestic social bargains’ Rodrik warned. But few listened. The tendency to emphasize trade’s benefits while ignoring its costs created a massive political backlash.”