Author Archives: Richard

NHL champions, here’s a simple way to avoid the White House visiting controversy: QUIT DOING IT.

By on October 11th, 2017


Well, it finally happened. The Pittsburgh Penguins visited the White House and took pictures with President Trump.

My question for the champions: How do you feel about it now?

The team captain Sidney Crosby was at pains to reassure the press and public that this had nothing to do with politics. “It’s a shame people want to portray it that that way,” he said a few days earlier.

Well, sorry Cros, but your visit does make a political statement, whether you want it to or not. It says: It is an honor to have the regard of the President.

And is that really such an honor?

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Politics: Conventional vs. Freethinking

By on September 21st, 2017


Political thinking is some of the least clear thinking in our culture. This is where people really show off their irrationality and tribal loyalties, and spend the least time thinking through logic and consequences.

Most people, let’s face it, think of politics like a club: they just want to force someone else to give them something they want. But of course, this is not necessarily in the best interests of society.

Here’s some recurrent themes we see in political/social thinking all the time. In every case, with a little thinking we can drastically reframe the argument. On the left side are the prevailing beliefs that massive sections of the populace accept and spout without thinking too hard about them. On the right side are the reframed arguments.

Keep an open mind and see whether you can escape conventional thinking on these matters. Continue reading

Trump is Just a Symptom. Let’s Talk About the Disease.

By on September 19th, 2017



Listen, you might find the sitting president to be a repugnant, appalling, knuckle-dragging buffoon making up for what can only be a clinical case of inferiority complex.

You’ll get no argument from me.

But he is just a symptom.

Cut him out and you still have the disease. And it has metastasized.

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A Bubble Economy… that’s about to burst again

By on July 12th, 2017

The media loves to tell us that everything is great and getting better. After all, the numbers are going up, right?

Well, sometimes numbers go up because there is actual growth and business expansion and standard of living improvements.

But sometimes numbers go up because there is an artificial propping-up of a particular industry (like real estate c. 2006-2007). Or sometimes there is simply an artificial increase in the money supply (or in easily-available credit) which means things are worth more dollars, which looks great on paper, but each dollar is worth less things, which is… not so good. If that is the case, it would mean the standard of living and business growth are actually declining as a result.

So which is it? Continue reading

If You Have Post-Election Fear, Read This

By on November 9th, 2016


No matter whether your candidate won or lost, I think we can all agree: we’re glad the shitshow is over.

But maybe your response is fear.

If it is, I just want you to consider this: you and I make the world what it is, not some villains sitting in office. And if that’s true, they deserve neither our hopes nor our fears.

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