Weekly Link Roundup #7

It seems that adapting back to college life as a sophomore made me busier than I thought I would be, making my blog semi-vacation into a full vacation for a couple of days, resulting in a few missed posts. This also means that I have a final answer for my blogging experiment — I can blog every weekday for over a month, but should expect turbulence in college.

That aside, time to start the week with what would have been last week’s weekly link roundup, the seventh one I have put out. The previous six are here: 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

As always for those not in the know, the Weekly Link Roundup is a collection of all the cool articles I read in the past week and feel like passing onto others. The links are also ordered so that the ones I like most are at the top, for those who don’t have time for all the links… but for those who do have time, I think all of them are worthwhile.

Let the links begin!

  • Smart Taxes: An Open Invitation to Join the Pigou Club [PDF]: “Many economists favor higher taxes on energy-related products such as gasoline, while the general public is more skeptical. This essay discusses various aspects of this policy debate. It focuses, in particular, on the use of these taxes to correct for various externalities—an idea advocated long ago by British economist Arthur Pigou.”
  • U.S. Needs More Inflation to Speed Recovery, Say Mankiw, Rogoff: “They argue that a looser rein on inflation would make it easier for debt-strapped consumers and governments to meet their obligations. It might also help the economy by encouraging Americans to spend now rather than later when prices go up.”
  • Do You Care Whether the Religious Ideas You Believe in Are True or Not?: “Here’s what I’d like to say to people who are less interested in what’s really true about the universe than they are about their personal interpretation of it.”
  • Terrorism – An Era in Ideas: “The discrepancy between the panic generated by terrorism and the deaths generated by terrorism is no accident. Panic is the whole point of terrorism, as the root of the word makes clear: “Terror” refers to a psychological state, not an enemy or an event.”
  • Crashing the Tea Party: “But in fact the Tea Party is increasingly swimming against the tide of public opinion: among most Americans, even before the furor over the debt limit, its brand was becoming toxic. To embrace the Tea Party carries great political risk for Republicans, but perhaps not for the reason you might think.”
  • Becoming a Rationalist – Interview with Eliezer Yudkowsky: “Eliezer Yudkowsky is a research fellow at the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and a popular writer at the website Less Wrong, a community devoted to the refining the art of human rationality. Eliezer, welcome to the show!”
  • Can We Please Take a Break From Blaming the Internet?: “So for the sake of the discourse itself, I feel as though we should take a break for a bit from blaming the internet for all the things wrong with our culture. They’re questions fully worth considering, but for the time being they’re all blurred together as tired rehashings, causing very valid points to get lost.”
  • Vanilla and Chocolate and Preference Judgements: “It’s hard to say that both of them are right, if each is hurting the other’s feelings. Again, though, their argument isn’t about anything factual. They both agree that there are papers on the desk and clothes on the floor, and that Albert is the one responsible. Where they diverge is the preference they place on this world-state.”
  • How to Win When You’re Unpopular: What Obama Can Learn From Truman: “Barack Obama’s bid for reelection next year will, by all indications, be a tough, maybe even uphill fight. But daunting as the campaign may seem, the president can at least take some solace in a precedent from 64 years ago: Harry Truman’s campaign for reelection in 1948—successful, despite a poor economic climate, and a polarized electorate—offers a promising path for Obama’s reelection.”
  • Zombie Tax Lies: “The claim that only rich people pay taxes is a zombie lie — something that keeps coming back no matter how many times it’s killed by evidence. So, let’s try another shot to the head.”
  • Girl frozen in time may hold key to ageing: “American scientists are keenly studying the DNA of a 17-year-old girl who still has the body and behaviour of a baby”
  • First life: The search for the first replicator: “Life must have begun with a simple molecule that could reproduce itself – and now we think we know how to make one”
  • The Wall o’ Socialist Bible Quotes: “Ladies and gentlemen, in what is a genuine first for me, I am now going to post a giant wall of text from the Bible in support of the idea that the character of Jesus as portrayed in the New Testament was a left-wing socialist liberal, bordering on communist.”
  • Let Them Debate College Students: “Ah, but who says that prestigious scientists are required to debate creationists?”


I now blog at EverydayUtilitarian.com. I hope you'll join me at my new blog! This page has been left as an archive.

On 30 Aug 2011 in All, Link Roundup. No Comments.

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