Monday, July 16, 2018

Do I hate workers?

When I grew up, public policy discussion meant projecting the benefits of a policy and balancing them against the costs and unintended consequences. In this context, I am merely attempting to air some of the costs of these regulations for unskilled workers that are not often discussed. Nowadays, however, public policy is judged solely on its intentions. If a law is intended to help workers, then it is good (whether or not it will every reasonably achieve its objectives), and anyone who opposed this law has bad intentions.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

ZZT, a love story

For all the worlds of ZZT I would ultimately explore, it took me a long time to work up the nerve to press the W key, the one labeled "World: TOWN" on the ZZT start-up screen. What could a button labeled "World" possibly do? I was scared, I think, that something fundamental about the world of ZZT would change, some physical constant of the universe rewritten, and the familiar Town of ZZT would be swept away forever. It was the same category of fear as my resistance to running past the end-of-level pipe in stage 1-2 of Super Mario Bros. to get to the secret Warp Zone. I was terrified Mario would be lost forever.
ZZT was a magical program back in the day. The author has written a book on the subject here.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Trains in Europe vs US

Long story short, the European network is optimized for passengers, the US network is optimized for freight, and ours probably works better for us.


Wednesday, May 23, 2018


Government is just a word for the things we do together, like cracking down on free popcorn at hardware stores - Overlawyered


Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Loving your enemies, more important than ever

Particularly enlightening:
Part of this stems from our tendency to think of certain foundational elements of our own belief systems as “common knowledge.” I recall, for example, a conversation in which I referred to Immanuel Kant as one of the philosophers that “everybody knows.” Someone quickly pointed out to me that this is absurd: large swathes of the human race could not tell you that Kant is a philosopher, much less identify any of his beliefs. But because I first read Kant in high-school, I naturally think of him as someone that any reasonably educated person knows.
I would say I have committed this particular sin many a time.

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Monday, April 30, 2018

Austin Ruse attacking Simcha Fisher?

For being Jewish? Weird. I bet this is what the Venetians attacking Constantinople felt like. Besides which, Simcha is awesome.


Friday, March 09, 2018

Senators making things worse for people quitting smoking

Under the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act, in order to market “safer” tobacco products manufacturers must demonstrate that they would (1) significantly reduce harm and the risk of tobacco-related disease to individual tobacco users, and (2) benefit the health of the population as a whole. In addition, the Act limits the labeling and advertising claims that manufacturers can make on their products’ behalf.
These may be well-intentioned restraints, but overly strict interpretation of the rules can do far more harm than good.

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