6 October 2015

Naming and shaming

Josh Marshall, the editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo (TPM), has written an opinion piece rejecting calls to avoid giving publicity to school shooters. In doing so, I believe he has made two errors. The first error is to assume that refusing to publicize the killer’s name is a meaningless feel-good gesture. As the WSJ explains: Mass shooters aim to tell a story through their actions. They create a narrative about how the world has forced them to act, and then must persuade themselves to believe it. ... Read more

5 October 2015

Deontological ethics and the gun problem

First, some background on recent studies in social science: The study by Jared Piazza of the University of Pennsylvania and Paulo Sousa of Queen’s University Belfast, which included a total of 688 participants, found religious individuals and political conservatives consistently invoked deontological ethics. In other words, they judged the morality of actions based on a universal rule such as, “You should not kill.” Political liberals, on the other hand, consistently invoked consequentialist ethics, meaning they judged the morality of actions based on their positive or negative outcomes. ... Read more

4 October 2015


I use Evernote. Some business people think Evernote is in big trouble. They’re right about the reasons why: Several former employees believe a lack of focus hampered Evernote’s growth. Instead of focusing on its core note-taking product and on converting users to the paid service, Evernote spent more time releasing a bunch of new products and features that only helped it grab news headlines, they said. Evernote still has no Linux client. ... Read more

2 October 2015

Rules of engagement

“It’s vile to score political points by arguing for gun control right after a mass shooting.” “America averages one mass shooting per day.” “Yes, so it’s vile for you to ever suggest gun control. Sorry, but those are the rules of polite debate.”

22 September 2015

Turbo Bullshit Injection

Heard of the VW TDI Turbo Diesel Injection engine? The power and efficiency of a high performance diesel engine, but with clean emissions. Or at least, that’s what the ads said, positioning cars like the VW Jetta TDI as an alternative to expensive hybrid cars. Car magazines and newspapers ate it up. TDI was the result of years of work. As Car and Driver explained: […] in 2007, the EPA’s new Tier 2 emissions laws required diesels to be as clean as their gasoline counterparts. ... Read more

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