Shortlink

Light Redux

Postings will remain light for August, but should return to normal next month.

Shortlink

Challenge

National Sovereignty and the Challenge of Immigration by Samuel Gregg.

The idea of national sovereignty is indispensable to any coherent discussion of immigration policy.

More.

Shortlink

Research

Don’t Think Too Positive by Gabriele Oettingen.

Fantasies about the future have a troubling effect on achieving actual goals. If positive thinking doesn’t work, what does?

More.

Shortlink

Wrong?

Is it Wrong to Blame Islam? by Spencer Case.

Jihadi terrorists claim to act on the authority of Islam. Could they be right? Some very influential people seem to think that it is morally wrong even to consider this hypothesis. During his 2015 speech at a Boston mosque, U.S. President Barack Obama said: “And we can’t suggest that Islam itself is at the root of the problem. That betrays our values.” Unfortunately, our values don’t guarantee that major religions are necessarily free of destructive ideas any more than major political ideologies are. When a religious apologist argues that his religion is good, he concedes that religions can be evaluated. Most people, if they heard credible stories of Muslim converts cleaning up their lives, or reports that Muhammad was a tolerant man, would think that this was evidence that Islam is a force for good. If so, then the evidence could turn out to support the opposite claim.

More.

Shortlink

Unity

Pursuing Unity: Race and the American Story by S. Adam Seagrave.

The primary cause of American disintegration is not the proliferation of sources of division, but rather the absence of sources of unity to counterbalance and contextualize them. The racial divide is the most productive place to start in recovering the American mission and restoring national unity.

More.

Shortlink

Diversity

Diversity Includes Intellectual Diversity by Glenn Geher.

Diversity Includes Intellectual Diversity.

More.

Related: The Google Memo: Four Scientists Respond by Quillette Magazine. See here.

Shortlink

Philosopher

Freud the Philosopher by David Livingstone Smith.

Before fathering psychoanalysis, Freud first slayed the dominant Cartesian intellectual tradition of mind-body dualism.

More.

Shortlink

Prepare

Okay, Google: How Do You Prepare A Country For Totalitarianism? by Robert Tracinski.

To be ready for dictatorship, people have to embrace its habits and practices voluntarily, or at least show little resistance. Google is doing its part.

More.

Shortlink

Dark

Scientists Unveil a New Inventory of the Universe’s Dark Contents by Natalie Wolchover.

The first major results from the Dark Energy Survey signal the start of a new era of cosmology.

More.

Shortlink

Destroyed?

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? by Jean M. Twenge.

More comfortable online than out partying, post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescents have ever been. But they’re on the brink of a mental-health crisis.

More.

Shortlink

Solve?

Why the Left Can’t Solve Global Warming by Shikha Dalmia.

Greens are more interested on assigning blame than looking for fixes.

More.

Shortlink

MacLean

More on Nancy MacLean by Marian L. Tupy.

I realize that I am a bit late to this party and that many of Nancy MacLean’s strange claims and factual errors have already been exposed and debunked by people much more familiar with her work, the intellectual history of libertarianism and the Nobel Prize-winning economist James Buchanan, than I am. However, there is one aspect of MacLean’s conspiracy theorizing in Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America (i.e., “the attempt by the billionaire-backed radical right to undo democratic governance” in America) that, I think, needs further comment.

More.

Shortlink

WEL

A Song of Ice and Fire by Eric Kurlander.

World Ice Theory and the supernatural imaginary of the Third Reich.

More.

Shortlink

Bully

A Demagogic Bully by Mark Pulliam.

The Southern Poverty Law Center demonizes respectable political opponents as “hate groups”—and keeps its coffers bulging.

More.

Shortlink

Undoing?

German Philosophy Has Finally Gone Viral. Will That Be Its Undoing? by Stuart Jeffries.

A new generation of rockstar philosophers are taking the discipline to the masses. But their TED Talks, TV shows, and best-sellers might be ruining it forever.

More.

Shortlink

Censorship

Silicon Valley Censorship by Sam Westrop.

Google’s latest project is an application called Perspective, which, as Wired reports, brings the tech company “a step closer to its goal of helping to foster troll-free discussion online, and filtering out the abusive comments that silence vulnerable voices.” In other words, Google is teaching computers how to censor.

More.

Shortlink

Support

First Support for a Physics Theory of Life by Natalie Wolchover.

Take chemistry, add energy, get life. The first tests of Jeremy England’s provocative origin-of-life hypothesis are in, and they appear to show how order can arise from nothing.

More.

Shortlink

Future

The Future of American Civil Religion by Daniel Strand.

Whatever you think of American civil religion, Protestantism was the fuel that made it go. When you lose the fuel, you lose the benefits that have accrued to American society because of it. And the benefits were substantial, even as we are now appreciating the costs, too. One of the most significant and underappreciated benefits was the unity it generated. It provided a shared set of morals and duties that had broad tacit support and adherence. Cicero often wrote about the civic “bonds” (vinculum) that held Rome together, and for America our civic glue was Protestantism. Tocqueville, insightful as ever, described the Protestant consensus this way: “all differ in respect to the worship which is due to the Creator; but they all agree in respect to the duties which are due from man to man.”

More.

Shortlink

Culture

2017 Index of Culture and Opportunity: The Social and Economic Trends that Shape America by The Heritage Foundation.

The 2017 Index of Culture and Opportunity evaluates a range of factors needed to sustain freedom and opportunity in America. Through charts that track social and economic changes and expert commentary that explains the trends, the Index reports on important indicators in American society and analyzes what they mean for our future.

More.

Shortlink

Gutting

Gutting of Oversight Bill Puts Kibosh on Police Reform in California by Steven Greenhut.

Assembly Bill 284 had little chance of passage because it dealt with an actual problem and was getting pushback from some muscular lobbies.

More.