Category: Political Science

Written by: N.S. Palmer | Posted on: | Category:

A while back, I worked for a tech company where I reported to the company's CEO.

The main thing I learned was never to take a job at a company founded and run by a business-school professor.

The other thing I learned was that in the wrong hands, veto power can cause a lot ...

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Last time, I said that the main question of morality is not "what's right or wrong" but "what kind of people we choose to be."

At first glance, that statement seems absurd, bordering on offensive. Isn't morality all ...

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What makes things moral or immoral? Do the ideas "moral" and "immoral" even make sense?

People have lots of different views about it. My own view is that what's moral:

  • maximizes human happiness,
  • minimizes needless suffering, and
  • avoids doing things that are almost universally considered wrong.

But ...

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There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who think that Glenn Miller's 1941 song "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" absolutely rocks, and those who don't.

I think that the song absolutely rocks, which explains why I don't know much about pop singer Taylor Swift.

By ...

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I don't live in a bubble. I'm lucky to have friends, family members, and loved ones who disagree strongly with some of my beliefs. That gives me perspective.

Challenges to our beliefs help us in three ways:

  • They make us ask why other people believe the things that they do.
  • They make us ask why we believe the things that ...
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The world can be a scary place. It is now. As one website commenter remarked:

"We wake up, have breakfast, send the kids to school, walk the dog, go to work, come home and everything seems just fine, and then we turn on the internet to find out we're on the verge of civil war."

What can you do about ...

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Would you like to join the Chess Club?

It's for people who like chess, like to talk about it, and like to play it. It's a human group.

You can be a member of this particular club if you satisfy at least one of its admission rules:

  • You are the brother or sister of a club member.
  • You apply for membership and pay ...
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Utopian schemes try to create a perfect society. They usually cause more suffering than they cure. It's a bad bargain.

Moreover, people seldom agree on what a perfect society would be like. No matter how good it is or in how many ways, somebody will still think it's awful and unjust.

And no matter how good people's lives are, ...

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Many people say that "the arc of history bends toward justice."

Pardon my French, but ce n'est pas vrai. It's not true. In fact, it's the opposite of the truth.

If there is going to be justice in our world, we have to make it happen -- and we also have to get lucky. Very lucky.1

Sure, ...

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"We’re not trying to schedule our workers more efficiently. We’re trying to replace them altogether."
-- An executive of a fast-food company

Andrew Yang, a 2020 presidential candidate, reports that quote about automation in his book The ...

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You're lucky. So am I.

I've written in previous blogs that believing we're lucky is a helpful attitude:

  • It makes us happier because we look for the good in situations:
  • It helps us achieve because we see problems as opportunities to do something constructive.

But that's not what I'm talking about here.

I'm ...

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I won't be watching the State of the Union address on television tonight.

It's nothing against Trump, who will tell us about all the YUUUUGE things he's accomplished.

Nor against Pelosi, who will be sitting there stone-faced with her minions. She might be waiting for a chance to shout "You lie!" to get revenge for ...

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Americans disagree about a lot. But there's one point on which we are unanimous:

Our politicians are awful.

Let's be honest: Except in the haze of partisan fervor, can anyone truly believe that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were the two best people to run for president in 2016?

How about Mitch McConnell and Chuck ...

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Football player Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the American national anthem.

And people on all sides of the political spectrum went nuts. Why?

The most obvious reason is that they either endorse or dispute his ...

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