Liberal bias in the press again?

Slate says “Over the course of four hours of continuous inauguration coverage from 8 a.m. to noon (collectively, that’s 24 hours among the six outlets), the topic of the president’s (historically poor) approval ratings came up exactly four times, according to, the continuous television monitoring service” whereas “the phrase “history” came up 229 times […]

Let’s try again in Iran

The LA Times reports in Support for War in Iraq Hits New Low that only 39% of Americans “believed the situation in Iraq was “worth going to war over”, and that “a large majority, 65%, said they believed the war in Iraq had harmed the United States’ image around the world. Only 10% said the […]

Who makes investment choices?

Intersting column by Michael Kinsley claiming to prove that privatising Social Security won’t work. He makes a similar point to one that I have claimed several times, only to get blank stares: that whether a dollar of earnings is spent directly in the economy (beer, refridgerators, chip factories, …) or flows to the government and […]

Intelligent Design Destroys Civilisation as We Know it!

Edge has published the results of its annual question “What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?” Chris Anderson writes (scroll down) that according to the standards of Intelligent Design, “virtually everything I believe in must now fall under the shadow of unproveability. Most importantly, this includes the belief that democracy, […]

Reasons to break the law

Mr. Gonzales said to the Senate (NYT transcript, Friday Jan 7) “I think the decision not to apply Geneva in our conflict with al Qaeda was absolutely the right decision for a variety of reasons…. It would actually make it more difficult, in my judgment, for our troops to win in our conflict against al […]

What really motivates creators?

Bill Gates’ statement on CNET that “There are some new modern-day sort of communists who want to get rid of the incentive for musicians and moviemakers and software makers under various guises. They don’t think that those incentives should exist” has receive much comment from Dan Gillmor and others. But a recent survey of 419 […]

Limits of Copyright

Brad DeLong writes about The Eighteenth-Century Rollback of Intellectual Property and quotes from “The Pleasures of the Imagination: English Culture in the Eighteenth Century” John Brewer (1997): As one of the judges put it… ‘the very matter and content of… books are by the author’s publication of them irrevocably given to the public; they become […]

Advice column

Garrison Keillor used to publish an advice column on Salon called Mr. Blue; wonderful words of wisdom. I missed it sorely when he retired, and it took a while for me to attune to the voice of his replacement, Cary Tennis, or perhaps it took him a while to find his voice. At his best, […]