Jenny Jarvie has a piece in The New Republic about trigger warnings, the phenomenon in which people warn others that the content of some piece might trigger emotional trauma for certain people. The author does not like them, bemoans their spread to college classes, and thinks there is no logical stopping point once [...]
I wrote a post today about David Brooks’ silly column in the New York Times. I know Brooks divorced recently and thought about including that in the piece, but decided against it. Instead, I brought up his $4 million home. I think it is worthwhile to know what might motivate someone to believe [...]
I have a piece over at Salon about the silly way we have these shell arguments about procedural things (like speech rights) that are actually motivated by substantive things (like whether we agree or disagree with what is being said). It’s solid.
So people really are serious about trying to figure out what the truth value of the sentence “inequality is the defining issue of our time” is. Because the idea of the “defining issue of our time” is empty and meaningless, there is no serious way to debate about it. Normally if you want to debate [...]
I wrote a post today about Brad Plumer’s redistribution blindspot. The basic point is that Plumer uses the word “redistribution” in an ideological way that privileges an “everyday libertarian” baseline, deviations from which are considered redistribution.
This set off the twitters, with primarily Dylan Matthews arguing back. I never did figure out what [...]
Some Brown students interrupted the speech of Ray Kelly, New York Police Chief. Then people argued about it on twitter. Then the Nation ran a point-counterpoint style forum for some of the key actors. Half think it is OK to interrupt and effectively shut down the speech. Half think it is not.
I’ve written on charity stuff before. When it comes to economic issues, I prefer justice to charity. I prefer that we arrange our distributive institutions to achieve a fair distribution, not allow unfair distributions to happen that we then maybe ameliorate through private transfers. I think Oscar Wilde’s argument on this [...]
According to Wikipedia, paternalism is a behavior, by a person, organization or state, which limits some person or group’s liberty or autonomy for their own good. Anti-paternalism, it then follows, is the view that we should not limit some person or group’s liberty or autonomy for their own good. In the kinds of [...]
I try to keep track of as much of the left as I can. One part of the left that I enjoy observing — although have never really found myself able to engage with — is the social justice tumblr set. Broadly identitarian feminist in its basic orientation, this set has sprawled out a whole [...]
JW Mason relays a pathetic argument for austerity out in the Financial Times. The basic thrust of the argument, as Mason’s title mockingly summarizes, is that austerity is good for the soul.
Austerity, which here just means having less, will lead to better health by limiting food access. It will promote “common purpose [...]