Can Reason Withstand the Death of God?

From First Thoughts

Freddie has written a post that forces me into the odd position of defending Sam Harris; the crux of which is the claim that once we accept the human mind as being a contingent accident of evolution, we necessarily must abandon any faith in the intellectual edifices constructed by such minds: For . . . . Continue Reading »

Onwards! Ever Onwards!

From First Thoughts

Via Julian , I see that Yglesias has spun a narrative : For the past 65-70 years—and especially for the past 30 years since the end of the civil rights argument—American politics has been dominated by controversy over the size and scope of the welfare state. Today, that argument is . . . . Continue Reading »

Whither the Post-Healthcare Realignment?

From First Thoughts

Over at Cato, Julian Sanchez has written a post about how the aftermath of healthcare reform could reveal faultlines in existing political coalitions and trigger realignment: There’s no intrinsic commonality between, say, “left” positions on taxation, foreign policy, and reproductive . . . . Continue Reading »

Beyond Möbius Bagels: Twisty Bagels

From First Thoughts

Rarely do Joe Carter and MAKE Magazine point me towards the same online curiosity . The intersection of topology and breakfast must have considerable ecumenical appeal. I’m going to turn Hart’s challenge around, however: now that you know how to create two interlocking bagel-halves by . . . . Continue Reading »

Which is more annoying?

From First Thoughts

Which is more annoying: Leftists who in the wake of Climategate have suddenly discovered a love for public choice theory or libertarians who in the wake of Climategate have studiously ignored public choice theory? Whatever your answer to that question, I hope it suggests that public choice theory . . . . Continue Reading »

Unity through Beauty

From First Thoughts

Longtime readers know of my obsession with mathematical beauty, so it should come as no surprise to find me hopping up and down most eagerly and pointing you towards Matthew Milliner’s very immodest proposal in Public Discourse. My only quibble with the article is that the proportion of . . . . Continue Reading »

The Neverending Loyalty Debate

From First Thoughts

Responding to Helen , Conor fails to acknowledge the distinction between “critiquing an argument” and “writing a hit piece”, or at the very least implies that the two phrases may be used interchangeably. It’s funny, I thought Helen’s post made it pretty clear . . . . Continue Reading »

Sayonara, Weber!

From First Thoughts

Via Tyler Cowen, a paper by Davide Cantoni  casts some doubt on the efficacy of the Protestant Ethic: Many theories, most famously Max Weber’s essay on the ‘Protestant ethic,’ have hypothesized that Protestantism should have favored economic development. With their . . . . Continue Reading »