Cultural Cognition is Not a Bias

Some recent posts by Dan Kahan on the subject of “cultural cognition” deserve attention: (Cultural cognition refers to the tendency of individuals to conform their beliefs about disputed matters of fact (e.g., whether global warming is a serious threat; whether the death penalty deters murder; whether gun control makes society more safe or less) to values that… Continue reading Cultural Cognition is Not a Bias

2012 is NOT the Most Expensive Election in History, in GDP-adjusted Terms

Last year, I suggested that liberal objections to Citizens United were partly justified by predictions about its effects that I didn’t see as probable. As the election draws to a close, we can begin to say whether the consensus view or my own views were accurate. Here goes: as a percentage of GDP, this is simply… Continue reading 2012 is NOT the Most Expensive Election in History, in GDP-adjusted Terms

Chesterton’s Fence

I try to defend conservatism sometimes. I also like Chesterton. Here’s one reason why: In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say,… Continue reading Chesterton’s Fence

Snark Polemics and Contrite Fallibilism

Most people who know me in person would at least consider using the term “snarky” in their description of me, which is why John Barnes’ polemic against “snark” troubled me so:  It’s a currently fashionable powerful rhetorical weapon that allows the uninvolved and the never-to-be-involved to discredit people who do, or attempt – anything at… Continue reading Snark Polemics and Contrite Fallibilism

Logic Ruins Everything

George Orwell supposedly* wrote that “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.” A piece is journalism if and only if someone does not want it printed. Orwell does not want public relations printed (as if it were journalism.) Orwell is someone. Printing a piece (as if it… Continue reading Logic Ruins Everything