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The Forces Fighting For Facts Need More Help

The incentive structure of social media is broken. Every day, I encounter posts that rely on erroneous journalism, make factual assertions without evidence, or straight up cite made-up numbers.Every day, I laboriously click through links and use Google to find the underlying studies, and correct the errors. But it takes me 10X the amount of … Continue reading The Forces Fighting For Facts Need More Help

Trump & McCarthy

Author Tom Nichols points out the dissonance between Donald Trump and the masculine virtues of the Greatest Generation that he ostensibly admires so greatly. While I too find President Trump’s behavior repugnant, I think that concluding that his behavior is only possible because of some kind of flaw in modern culture is an example of … Continue reading Trump & McCarthy

Covid-19 and Hannibal’s Law

For many years, I have advocated what I call Hannibal’s First Law of Leadership: “Never give an order that won’t be obeyed.” Hannibal’s Law recognizes that war is fought in the real world, and that a general who gives orders that aren’t obeyed won’t be a general for much longer. We are now reaching that … Continue reading Covid-19 and Hannibal’s Law

Negativity, Risk, And Why Rugged Individualism Is (Mostly) Bunk

In his book with journalist John Tierney, The Power of Bad, social psychologist Roy Baumeister writes about what he calls the Negativity Effect. For most of humanity’s existence, we lived in dangerous environments where a single careless moment would mean death. Or as The Power of Bad puts it: “To survive, life has to win … Continue reading Negativity, Risk, And Why Rugged Individualism Is (Mostly) Bunk

Scaling and Prevailing Over Covid-19

* * * An exponential threat like Covid-19 requires us to scale up our responses at lightning speed. But how do manage the risks and strain of this effort, while making sure that we mitigate, rather than amplify, the existing structural problems in our society? In a week, Bob Sutton, Laura McBain, Marc Chun, and … Continue reading Scaling and Prevailing Over Covid-19

Resist Covid-19 Fundamentalism

The Covid-19 pandemic may be the greatest threat the world has faced in over a century. All of humanity has a common enemy, a merciless, exponentially-spreading virus. If ever we needed to unite against a common enemy, now is the time. And of course, not only are nations at loggerheads, even within the United States, … Continue reading Resist Covid-19 Fundamentalism

Short Term Lies, Long Term Truths

It shouldn’t surprise us that lies are so popular and viral. Box Office Mojo offers a list of the top 1,000 movies of all time, sorted by US box office, not-inflation adjusted. The top documentary on the list is Fahrenheit 9/11, which is 564th on the list. For reference, number 560 on the list is … Continue reading Short Term Lies, Long Term Truths

Why It’s Important To Not Spread Fake News About Donald Trump

A recent viral Facebook post noted, “Trump said ‘hundreds’ of governors are calling him…& we only have 50.” It’s easy to see why such a post would go viral among Trump opponents–it portrays President Donald Trump as both a liar and an ignoramus, claiming to receive calls from “hundreds” of governors, when, of course, there … Continue reading Why It’s Important To Not Spread Fake News About Donald Trump

What Is The Human Cost Of Swedish Herd Immunity To Covid-19?

One of the major pieces of Covid-19 news today is that Dr. Anders Tegnell, the chief epidemiologist of Sweden’s Public Health Agency told CNBC that he believed that the Swedish capital of Stockholm would achieve herd immunity in the next few weeks, and that his agency’s models project that 20% of the population there is … Continue reading What Is The Human Cost Of Swedish Herd Immunity To Covid-19?