History Of The Fabian Society by Scott Alexander – The Fabian society was a lackadaisically run and unabashedly upper class socialist society founded in 1883. They were amazingly successful, made substantial progress by 1900 and their platform seems to have been adopted by the modern center left. How did they succeed?
A Pull-able Thread Of The Social Fabric by Robin Hanson – The extreme reaction the left has to ‘rightwing’ proposals points to serious problems in our society. Will this situation be a thread that unravels society when pulled?
Why Economics Is And Should Be Creepy by Robin Hanson – Creepiness is about ambiguous threat and unpredictability. People who do not follow norms therefore seem creepy. Economists seem threatening because they are analyzing situations inside the personal sphere and not following ‘personal sphere’ norms. In particular economists seem creepy because on the surface they seem trustworthy and high status but are willing to break societies taboos.
Announcing The Effective Altruism Handbook 2nd by CEA – The center for effective altruism released an updated handbook. This handbook is intended as an introduction to the core EA concepts. Notably the book has a ton of illustrations.
Politics and Economics:
Unrestricted Housing by Jeff Kaufman – Bay area rents would fall by half if we eliminated a set of major restriction and thereby quadrupled the highest density allowed.
Ryan Holiday On Conspiracy by EconTalk – “Author Ryan Holiday discusses his book, Conspiracy, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. This is a crazy episode about a crazy book about a crazy set of events–the Hulk Hogan lawsuit against the website Gawker, a lawsuit that was secretly funded by Peter Thiel. Holiday explains how this happened and the lessons for all of us related to conspiracies, patience, strategy, and revenge. Along the way, Holiday discusses his techniques for reading and lessons for how to grab someone’s attention when looking for a job or opportunity.”
On The Wrong Way To Think About Parenting by Rationally Speaking – “Developmental psychologist Alison Gopnik explains why modern parenting is too goal-oriented. Alison and Julia discuss whether anything parents do matters, whether kids should go to school, and how kids learn discipline if you don’t force them to do things. They also discuss Alison’s reservations about Steven Pinker’s book Enlightenment Now, and her concerns about potential downsides of modernity.”
What Is Christianity by Waking Up with Sam Harris – “Sam Harris speaks to Bart Ehrman about his experience of being a born-again Christian, his academic training in New Testament scholarship, his loss of faith, the most convincing argument in defense of Christianity, the status of miracles, the composition of the New Testament, the resurrection of Jesus, the nature of heaven and hell, the book of Revelation, the End Times, self-contradictions in the Bible, the concept of a messiah, whether Jesus actually existed, Christianity as a cult of human sacrifice, the conversion of Constantine, and other topics.”
Mega Identities by The Ezra Klein Show – “Yes, identity politics is breaking our country. But it’s not identity politics as we’re used to thinking about it. In Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity, Lilliana Mason traces the construction of our partisan “mega-identities”: identities that fuse party affiliation to ideology, race, religion, gender, sexuality, geography, and more. These mega-identities didn’t exist 50 or even 30 years ago, but now that they’re here, they change the way we see each other, the way we engage in politics, and the way politics absorbs other — previously non-political —spheres of our culture”