Monday assorted links


Why do you keep signal boosting Wilkinson? He's a weak thinker who chases fads and loves to scold.


I was just asking the same thing. He got woke recently and wants to be part of the elite crowd it seems.

"People have control over whether they reinforce that construct, but only if they're open to hearing that they have done something harmful, whether or not they intended harm, from those subject to the harm."

Was this a college freshman at Evergreen State College who majors in cultural studies (which is a real major there)?

No, it was Will on twitter.

What do you get when two leftists (Sanders and Warren) call each other liars? The Truth.

WW is one of the very worst people on twitter, which is an incredible accomplishment considering the competition.

WW and his boss at the criminally misnamed Niskanen center have deserted liberty for more lucrative lies and acceptance.

He’s also a creative writing major with no other accomplishments. This explains his mediocrity and his mendacity.

First, it was liberaltarianism, now it’s State Capacity Libertarianism. I think TC likes it because it’s esoteric and has few adherents.

Hysterical. Wilkie writes,

I think America's basic structure is broken. Warren's general diagnosis of the problem--it's a rigged system of anticompetitive rent-seeking enabled by insufficiently democratic and representative political institutions--is broadly similar to my own.

And he unironically writes this referencing a candidate whose declared plan involves bypassing the legislature to use the power of the bureaucracy to accomplish her policy goals.

Yep, sounds "sufficiently democratic and representative" to me!


But don't worry, once Warren innovates on abusing the executive office to reshape the economic system, the next president won't be tempted to fiddle with things to favor their connected buddies. No way the rent-seekers figure out how to rig this new system!

The very observations that a Latin American caudillo would use in a speech celebrating the nationalization of his country's railroads and energy industries.

You give Sen. Warren too much cred.

What she's said all along: "Free Stuff!" "More Free Stuff!!" "Lots More Free Stuff!!!" ETC.

Mood affiliators get irked when candidates elicit mood affiliation from people that personally drive them nuts.

--Will Wilkinson

[Trump's] anti-urban demagoguery, when combined with low population density bias of our electoral system, is a serious danger to democracy.

--Also Will Wilkinson

Just sayin'.

My reaction also. Wilkinson says he prioritizes structural reform, which in his view entails empowering Congress and making our political institutions more democratic and representative. Warren, however, is the antithesis of that. Her model is the CFPB, independent agencies run by bureaucrats empowered with total discretion and no democratic accountability. Now, if Wilkinson agrees with Warren's fundamental view that democratic accountability actually empowers special interest groups for the usual public choice reasons (concentrated vs dispersed interests, rational ignorance, etc.) and that the solution is to empower enlightened, selfless, benevolent bureaucrats that will act solely for the general good (whatever that is), then fine. But, say that instead of claiming he favors greater democracy and representativeness. (Then, we can move to debating the central issue of Warren's structural reforms: how are we to find and empower these all-knowing, all-benevolent bureaucrats, if they even exist, without inadvertently allowing the unchecked power of the Warren bureaucracy to instead fall into the hands of special interests?)

I am genuinely interested in whether Wilkinson favors majoritarian democracy or Warren-empowered bureaucracy. But, they are fundamental opposites.

I will complement Wilkinson on his spin-meistering. He basically concedes that Tyler is correct that Warren's policy proposals are terrible. But, he does it in such a way that, if you blink, you sort of miss it.

Thanks for pointing that out. Warren wants unaccountable power to 'fix' things.

Amusing that you are using a majoritarian argument to defend a candidate who, if he is re-elected (a 50/50 bet), will certainly be the only one to lose the popular vote twice.

Even more amusing, I wasn't defending any candidate, nor even arguing against a candidate, nor even "using" a majoritarian argument. I simply pointed out that Warren's structural reforms do not move in the direction of greater majoritarianism, which Wilkinson claims to favor. Amusing that some people can't decouple positive/descriptive statements from normative advocacy.

I did interpret your post (and the whole thread) as being hostile to Warren. Was I wrong? But I also disagree with your premise that democracy and bureaucracy are structural opposites. After all it is the elected representatives that create the bureaucracy initially.


Although a simpler explanation is “more democratic and representative” is simply a stand in for “more diversity candidates, abolish the senate, abolish the electoral college, and let illegal immigrants and prisoners vote.”

Also, he claims that Warren, Bernie, etc aren't scary because the electorate will stop them...but not the electorate he wants to marginalize. It's the Senate, GOP, and electoral college that are holding back the socialists. Why wouldn't a Warren or Bernie with unassailable majorities just cram it down our throats.

Agree, this is some underpants gnome type of nonsense. Step 1 is to empower Congress, whatever that means, Step 2 is ?????, and Step 3 is to take down Goldman Sachs.

I'm also mildly curious what he means by "electoral reform and voting rights" or "anti-majoritarian disenfranchisement?" Does he really think there's wide-spread voter suppression in the US?

"electoral reform and voting rights" = close the polls at, say, 4PM before Trump voters get off work.

+1 for underpants gnome reference

I like a direct response to that post you're quoting:

I have a hard time believing in the simultaneous sanity and honesty of anyone who could say, "I'm worried about institutions being insufficiently democratic and representative, let's put the designer of the CFPB in charge of reform."

5. Terrible writer, promoted for reasons too obvious to list

A while back (January 8 assorted links) Tyler linked to a piece about the National Book Awards turning into a self-congratulatory insiders' club.

I don't follow literary science fiction closely anymore but it seems that something similar is happening there.

Gotta love how The New Yorker goes on about the white supremacist menace. Whatever you think of Vox Day (I think he's mostly a thin-skinned lunatic), he's an American Indian. Reminds me of the panic pieces up here in Canada about how Chinese immigrants are becoming white supremacist.

Please, Theodore Beale is a major SF author and publisher of immense stature.

And he looks cool with a flaming sword, a true alpha among alphas

The Hugo winner is chosen by all the paying members of that year's Worldcon. This is pretty much the opposite of literary science fiction, which is better represented by the Nebulas, or possibly the Locus Awards.

Winning a Hugo is essentially the same as winning a popularity contest among all the SF fans willing to pay the Worldcon fee. She has won three times in a row, meaning that thousands of fans considered her the best SF novel writer over that time span.

The Hugo is basically the polar opposite of a a self-congratulatory insiders' club, with WSFS membership open to anyone willing to pay. Thousands of voters picked her novels as the year's best, in three consecutive years, a fact that some puppies still resent having their noses rubbed into repeatedly, for reasons too obvious to list.

"The Hugo is basically the polar opposite of a a self-congratulatory insiders' club"

The same group dynamics apply. Second-tier woke people often enforce the orthodoxy more than anyone.

"Thousands of voters picked her novels as the year's best"

Correction: thousands of voters picked her novels as the year's best way to spite Vox Day.

If you can get a decent sized clique going, you can hijack the Hugos. Vox wasn't the first to do this.

That certainly explains why she won 3 years in a row - Beale is such an inspiring figure in the SF world, isn't he?

A lot of people in SF really hate him.

They resent that all the hot chicks want to be with him instead of hanging out with any of the loser gamma rabbits.

Second tier people willing to pay the Woldcon membership fee, something Vox Day found an impossible hurdle to surmount after gaming the rules along with a number of Baen authors, most of whom found Day's antics too obnoxious to put up with, leading to a fairly rapid sad/rabid puppy split. Since the Worldcon is also held outside of the U.S. (Dublin last year, Helsinki in 2017, next year in New Zealand), you obviously have a global cabal of second-tier woke people enforcing the global orthodoxy of what SF works thousands of paying fans enjoyed most the preceding year.

We will see what the results are in 2020 after CoNZealand, where it only costs $75 NZ to vote, and $425 NZ to attend (travel costs and lodging extra). A WorldCon featuring Baen author Mercedes Lackey and her husband Larry Dixon as Author Guests of Honour.

Also, the story doesn't really understand what happened at the Hugos. The two groups of "Puppies" managed to dominate nominations and Jemisin's awards in the novel category were mainly reactive, intended to spite Vox Day et al. in a place where that was possible, rather than any indication of NKJ's quality.

Oddly, that explanation does not cover her actually winning 3 consecutive Best Novel Hugos.

Spite against Vox Day is quite enough to explain all her wins. She's lucky (or unlucky) enough to have become a symbolic figure.

Of course, luv. There is absolutely no way a woman author could win even two Hugos in a row based on the quality of her writing.

Mercedes Lackey clearly also won her Hugos because of a reaction against Beale. Which must also be the reason she is the Guest Author of Honor at CoNZealand, just to spite the flaming swordsman.

When the dust settles, I suspect NKJ will neither be regarded as badly as her haters say, nor as so overwhelmingly talented as to deserve 3 straight best novel awards, but you do you, friend.

Plenty of women authors can and have won Hugos based on the quality of their writing.

N. K. Jemisin, however, is not one of them.

Wrong, Fifth Season absolutely deserved the Hugo, it is one of the best and most original SFF works of the 21st century. Jesmin is in fact good and it's hard for certain people to acknowledge that for reasons too obvious to list.

Descriptions all sound like 3 book commercial fantasy nonsense with lots of the generic rubbish about mysterious persecuted magical people and suchlike.

IDK, maybe it works for 3 book commercial fantasy readers as a sufficiently sophisticated and fashionably "woke" version of 3 book fantasy stuff.

I’ve read the three books and I can’t remember a single thing about them other than the feeling of hitting a checklist of ‘important points’. I see people recommending them everyday on Reddit on the basis of inclusivity, Jemisin’s ethnicity, Jemisin’s gender or Jemisin’s politics, so I assume those are the reasons people voted for them.

Almost as if that is what SF readers willing to pony up the money for a Worldcon membership want to read and give an award to. Much like a comic book superhero movie won the Hugo Long Form award in 2019 and 2018.

Kids these days.

Well, perhaps it is*, but MTC (who I am responding to) was making an argument for their quality as "one of the best and most original SFF works of the 21st century"!

*post 2016 and some pretty serious demographic shifts in con members, which probably relates to the rise of geek identity among people who appear to be more interested in "young adult" fiction than speculative fic ideas...

(I'm not sure they're actually *kids* though - they may be more middle-aged than I am!)

#1 - Seems likes a pretty weak defense of Warren to me. I am honestly curious to hear more on how he thinks more democracy (or better representation of society at large in government) fixes the rent-seeking problem. I don't see them as very related and WW seems to be completely overlooking the downsides of having the median American have more influence over our economic system. From the best I can tell, a slim majority of Americans opposed fracking (, and yet, he thinks opposing fracking is a bad policy but he also thinks giving the median American more influence on economic policy will be a good thing. More importantly, I suspect the rent-seekers will still get their way, but through other means and perhaps with more government power behind them. He needs to read up on his Mancur Olsen.

Opposition to fracking is in the same league as swallowing the fantasy of AGW. The man on the cul de sac couldn't explain fracking if the payment on his big screen TV depended on it. All he knows is what the never-ending crisis media proclaims in its struggle for ratings. The percentage of the population that opposes fracking doesn't mean anything in any scientific sense. Economic policy, on the other hand, isn't connected to science, despite its infatuation with numerology.

BUT patents protect a product from mass accumulation, too early ending its early production stimulus, while other delineating markets retain fitness.

no MLK links today? :(

5 is a Straussian MLK link

1. I think I had a very similar position to Will's, until Warren started talking so freely about executive orders. In a sense she's thrown a hand grenade in my and Will's argument for her. It's hard to support her now, unless she does enunciate some limits to executive power.

Until she does, and at this stage of the primary process, there are a few candidates more center-left to support. That might be why the NYT hedged their bets with Klobuchar.

So sure, Klobuchar 2020. Or really any non-criminal and arguable altruist.

Well, the limit on executive power is ultimately constitutional in nature. She's just saying she'll do everything she can until the courts push back.

Which, even given the storm of Trump-appointed confirmations, is not going to be much pushback. We know whose side the judges are on, and the answer does not lie on the Democrat/Republican spectrum.

The NYT endorsement essay, and their explanation of the "three choices" facing voters is really pretty good.

Moderate left, chaotic left, chaotic right.

Thomas yorke-black swan

#4. "If a book can be summarized it shouldn’t be a book." What should it be then? A journal paper, a law review article, a Medium publication, or a blog post broken up into several parts?

The Pinnacle of human discourse: a tweet-storm, duh

#1. Here are two proposals to address rent-seeking that we don’t need Warren for:
(I) Pass a domestic version of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. It’s ridiculous that we pursue foreign companies for actions in foreign countries that are legal in DC.
(II) What do corporations do when their headquarters become too bureaucratic? They break them up and spread them out. Do the same with the Federal government. There is no need for all Federal agencies to be in DC.

By the way, I think we should keep #1 in context. There is a reason this is true:

Trump loses almost every matchup with top 2020 Democrats in Florida, Wisconsin and Michigan, polls find

Even if Democrats are "bad" voters view someone as worse.

Yes, the current president is terrible, thus we should rally behind noted Pow Wow Chow cookbook author, self proclaimed first minority law professor at Harvard, and regulatory enthusiast Elizabeth Warren.

Or, you know, do literally anything else.

Why is it so hard for you to endorse non-criminality?

Don't you think "better a criminal than a liberal" is peak something else?

No. Last time it was corrupt, incompetent Hillary (the most cheated-on woman in History): I couldn't vote for her.

This time it's solely for the great accomplishments Donald J. Trump has achieved.

I can't help you if you want to reverse all Trump has accomplished because of your pathological hated and that you are so brainwashed as to believe the left's destructive lies.

Seems you and Hillary are the only two humans who believe she's president.

Oh, impersonation is back? Otherwise you could make the trivial effort to "anonymous2"

And no, that is a very stupid answer.

Let me get this straight, you think attributing a post to anonymous is impersonation? Seriously, look up "anonymous" in a dictionary.

Clinton was leading in the polls and see how that turned out.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste on TDS.

Some of you will ride "TDS" until it augers into the ground. Slim Pickens style.

Yes she was, Anon, and she even beat Trump in the popular vote by 3 million. But 11 days before the election Comey came out publicly with the report that she was yet again being investigated over her home email, an investigation that led to nothing, but it turned the polls enough that she lost Wis, Mich, and PA. Is this your point, or are you still suffering from ODS?

Blame Comey, blame Russians, blame sexism, blame the electoral college, blame a butterfly flapping its wings in China and altering weather patterns in the Midwest, but never blame Clinton and the Dems for losing!

The great thing about a razor-thin margin of victory/defeat is that there are a hundred plausible explanations for the outcome.

I think it was more of a problem how Comey for 10 min detailed how she broke the law, then concluded she would not be prosecuted.

Websites where you can bet on the 2020 presidential outcome currently put Trump around 58% (-140).

I don't think you can short this, but you can bundle a bunch of bets on Dem candidates at extremely attractive odds, assuming your link includes information of genuine value.

I don't need more money, I need a better government.

Enlightened, rather than narrow, self-interest.

If you wanted better government you wouldn’t have spent 2019 championing a Warren presidency.

For me early Warren, without the executive orders, was better than late Warren.

But there is no reason I should not be fickle in my preferences. As I say, "any non-criminal and arguable altruist."

"I don't need more money, I need a better government."
Well Warren will help you out with the former, but unfortunately not the latter.

You lost anonymous at "short."

Heard today on the radio: Poll of Goldman Sachs clients has 87% think Trump should get four more years. Otherwise, no more very low unemployment, no more accelerating GDP growth and lower-end wage rises, no more asset values rising hugely, etc.

America needs to be saved from recent prosperity with better government and free stuff for everyone.

I'm old enough to remember when Hilary's Goldman connections were bad.

But in terms of democracy, 51% of Americans trumps 87, even 92% of GS.

#1 Posted this on the other thread, but relevant here too now that it is cited:

Will Wilkinson, funnily enough, ascribes something that sounds very close to "State Capacity Libertarianism" as motivating his praise of Warren in both that twitter thread and here:

This is why people are rightfully skeptical of state capacity libertarianism, it is simply far too malleable to personal whim to stand for something politically meaningful and distinct.

Arnold Kling has a good rule of thumb for evaluating political philosophies, I think roughly "If you can't easily think of a policy idea within the current Overton Window that is wholly rejected by the ideology, it is overbroad." I am really struggling here, since contextually, it seems any proposal could be construed in a way to be acceptable.

Basically, every Western political ideology with a pragmatic streak sounds very similar: "only enough organization and power in government to accomplish my personal ideas of national priorities so as to leave personal freedom intact as much as possible—but also providing the minimum additional conveniences as a practical compromise with the broader public to enervate the calls for more government power beyond that sweet spot."

Of course, this is only looking at state capacity libertarianism at face value. Because of how state capacity libertarianism is framed and motivated, I imagine its version of a brain trust would over time forfeit any potential confusing diversity and settle into a redundant Niskanen-Center-type. Cthulhu swims left generally, and I doubt this would be a good candidate for an exception to O'Sullivan's/Conquest's Second Law.

Why would any rationale person with some minimum life experience accept someone's ( in this case a politician to if you didn't notice) professed motives rather than look for actual motives?
How do you find real motives? Examine their life and reflect on your own life experience.
Is their any person seeking political office who lacks a history?

In the case of Warren, a troubling history from how she obtained employment to a bankruptcy article disproven by the facts to campaign promises intended to fool the gullible. Has anyone prepared an analysis on all the radically different client representations, positions, causes, beliefs over her professional lifetime?

The reason I will never vote for Warren is that while she was studying bankruptcy and health care debt the “industry” she is involved in was convincing 18 year olds to take out student loans putting them in debt at 22 before they ever made dime!?! A huge problem was going on right under her nose and she was researching a phony problem. Omg, in America where health insurance is tied to one’s job if you can’t work you might have a problem paying health care bills...why would anyone ever need to research that topic?!?

WW: "And I support (a few details aside) the legislative proposals on corruption, electoral reform, and voting rights that Warren says are her priorities."

When I read this, I was wondering specifically what he was referring to. Corruption? Voting rights and electoral reform?

Does he mean there shouldn't be political scandals? Isn't that pretty small? This isn't 2008 - what is structurally not working?

what is structurally not working?

1. The entire process for determining annual federal expenditures.

2. The practice of judicial review.

3. The conduct of elections.

4. Higher education.

5. Primary and secondary education.

The most relevant fact about libertarians, especially Beltway libertarians, is that they are basically spineless nerd that follow elite mood affiliation trends and concoct word salads to justify them. It's no surprise that Will went from Ayn Rand hack to progressive hack when the winds changed. As a person he hasn't fundamentally changed, and his ideas are meaningless fads he will discard as convenient.

Wilkinson will just keep regurgitating over and over how much he likes Denmark, without acknowledging the fact that its 90% Danish and what the American Democratic Party has to offer is nothing like Denmark.


You make a good point that things that are supposedly Danish may not be.

One time I was visiting an Austrian economist friend of mine in Copenhagen. He said, "Let us go out and have some Danish." So we went to a nearby restaurant, and what they were served that we would call a "Danish" here was on the menu as "Wienerbrod" ("Vienna bread" in English literal translation). This led him to tell me the following story, imitating the late Fritz Machlup, from whom he heard it.

"Vaht in New York is called a hot dog in Vienna is called a frankfurter and in Frankfurt is called a viener."

It’s a bit odd that when an outspoken anti-libertarian, Wilkinson, says unlibertarian things while endorsing a progressive candidate, and even a moderate libertarian like Cowen criticizes him, you see it as an opportunity to complain about libertarianism.

What’s the reasoning here? You’re pissed at libertarians because Wilkinson used to be one? Because Wilkinson has changed for the better by becoming progressive any more anti-free market? Or because he’s changed for the worse? In which case, how does that reflect poorly on what he left, rather than on him? Or is complaining about libertarianism just a knee jerk response?

I see Wilkinson as a "type" that I frequently see amongst beltway libertarians. As someone noted above, "He's a weak thinker who chases fads and loves to scold."

Most of Wilkinsons worst positions, which he believes in most strongly, are shared by beltway libertarians (open borders, etc). Libertarians don't really pushback on IDpol or any of this gender nonsense. They used to be more against government robbing people, but now they are all "state capacity libertarians" who have made their peace with the welfare state. So Cowen recognizes that a fracking ban and a wealth tax are bad ideas, that's nice, but doesn't really move the needle. And the electorate he's working to create is sure as hell going to support the people who want those things one day.

If you think libertarian thinkers are all basically fad chasing toadies that are too cowardly to fight the Overton Window in any meaningful way, Wilkinson is just where Cowen and the rest will be in 5-10 years.

I think the demise of limited-government libertarianism is also related to their wholesale adoption of the catastrophic anthropologenic climate change ideology. Climate change, many of them now believe, is an existential threat to the planet, and thus to their academic and think tank positions, which can only be solved by massive government intervention. Thus we must have [global] state capacity, to which libertarianism is just a meaningless signaling tag.

Right. Climate change has got to be the worst possible avenue to abandon libertarianism. I can buy that the government can build a road or run a sewer system. I can't buy that the Green New Deal is going to be anything but a disaster.

1. Sounds like Wilkinson is saying that if felons get the vote, we'll by able to take on the monopolists and do Dodd Frank right this time, and this is BIG STRUCTURAL CHANGE.

We'd benefit from institutional adjustment. If we ever get it, it will be in the Keynesian long run, when we are all dead.

Examine, for example, the Amendments to the Constitution to date. Minor incremental adjustments, twee cr!p, bollixed efforts to accomplish something serious, measures with unforseen problems, measures ignored for decades on end, and measures repurposed to frustrate democratic majorities out of tune with the appellate judiciary.

The last several Baltimore mayors are felons now. Will should take a look at who gains power when criminal and untermensch become electoral majorities.

Right, lucky for Trump, unlike a lowly mayor, he can't be indicted for the half dozen federal and state crimes so far.

1. Proposing we ban fracking is dumber than building an 1800 mile with pesos. One is sort of funny while the other is just stupid.

#1. Can't disagree with anyone here's comments on Wilkinson. What is he smoking?
Warren lately has come across to me much less as an establishment Democrat and much more as a total fruitcake. Worse than Sanders.

One thing that's clear about Trump supporters is that there'e no lie or change of principle by means of which they can't abase themselves by being his poodle.

OCT. 19, 2019 3:42 PM
WASHINGTON — It wasn’t too long ago that Donald Trump derided presidential executive orders as “power grabs” and a “basic disaster.”
He’s switched sides in a big way: In each year of his presidency, he has issued more executive orders than did President Obama during the same time span. He surpassed Obama’s third-year total just recently.

Back in 2012, Trump had tweeted: “Why Is @BarackObama constantly issuing executive orders that are major power grabs of authority?”
That criticism continued once he entered the presidential race."

It's a fair article, mentioning that Obama used memorandums and proclamations as well as executive orders, but Trump supporters don't even know or care what he's actually done as President or the various positions he's taken purely for immediate political advantage, having nothing to do with what he really believes or will do. Currently, he believes he can enter into agreements that he can unilaterally change or get out of when he sees fit. There are no grounds that we can use to object to any other country doing the same, so don't bother blathering about countries complying with treaties. How about this lunacy?

"Trump has a long history of calling for the U.S. to "take the oil" in the Middle East, in Iraq and Syria in particular. But any oil in both countries belongs to their governments, and according to U.S. law and treaties it has ratified, seizing it would be pillaging, a technical term for theft during wartime that is illegal under U.S. and international law.

"We're keeping the oil," Trump said Monday to a conference of police chiefs in Chicago. "I've always said that -- keep the oil. We want to keep the oil, $45 million a month. Keep the oil. We've secured the oil."

Are you kidding me? What about his "Contract With The American Voter." How 's he doing? Not well, but that's because I believe when someone uses a contact or promise to get elected people should care and follow up what he said. You keep saying we should take Warren at her word, when you don't know to even care about Trump's word. So, please stop trying to argue about principles and policies, because you don't have any, other than following Trump no matter what he says currently. Oh, and the Wealth Tax...

"Before Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax, there was Donald Trump’s wealth tax.It was 1999, and he was trying to get the Reform Party to run him as their presidential candidate for the 2000 campaign.

Although Trump conducted a media blitz to get the wealth tax idea on the front pages, nobody could figure how it worked, why he proposed it or whose idea it was. It might have originated with Trump, or maybe it originated with longtime Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone, says Dave Shiflett, who co-authored a book with Trump."

Stay tuned, Trump might change his mind yet again, and then so will you.

And yet there are still people that believe a) issues matter and b) democracy would be better if more people voted.

A lot of what he's doing is reversing Obama's executive orders. I'd guess you'd need to do that by executive order, no?

I wonder if Wilkinson sincerely believes in the innate superiority of a more democratic system, or if he doesn’t just favor eliminating the electoral college because he thinks he’ll like the outcome. The EC is, after all, as old and ‘sacred’ an institution as we have, designed to check majority or regional dominance. Tearing it up isn’t shoring up ‘our institutions.’ Maybe it should be discarded, but it’s not a pro-institution position, and Wilkinson probably supports many undemocratic institutions, especially if he likes Warren, such as a strong bureaucracy that can resist presidents (that he doesn’t like); or restricting campaign donations (my guess is he largely means this when he says anti-corruption; can’t get beyond the paywall so I have to speculate).

Whatever the merits of these positions, he doesn’t seem consistently either pro-democratic or pro-institutions. He just seems to believe the long term policy outcomes of Warren will supersede the short term pitfalls, so in the end it is just about specific policies, imo. He just thinks a future robust Democratic majority that he believes selective ‘institutional’ reforms would bring will come to its senses on all of Warren’s bad policy ideas, in due time.

1. Wilkinson is correct. Market incumbents have largely rotted out the political system in this country in order to calcify their position.

However, there is a much better chance that the status quo is superior to the proposed “fixes” at the federal level.

Also a lot of the cronyism that destroys the lives of the poor and lower classes occurs at the state and local level. What can or would Warren do to eradicate zoning laws, FAR ratios, minimum parking regulations, or the car first nature of land use regulation in Post war America? It’s a huge problem but it’s not something that political will at the federal level can do anything about.

Agreed. And Warren's proposals would make everything far worse - she thinks that voting reform will protect the federal bureaucracy from rent-seeking and regulatory capture. it wont. Both parties themselves are already "captured" in a sense, by market incumbents. And I'm not just talking about campaign finance - the capture is ideological. They've got their foot soldiers believing that (for instance) Net Neutrality is for "the people" when it's really for Netflix's bottom line. Voting reform, making things more "democratic", will do nothing.

I'm no economist, but I do know the technology, and bitcoin and blockchain, while related, are not the same thing, as cryptocurrencies are only one, albeit the highest profile, application of the underlying blockchain technology. I could easily envision bitcoin, ethereum and others cryptocurrencies disappearing while blockchain technology's use expands. Or vice versa, or both disappearing (based on current technology). It's still very early days and there are still serious issues and concerns about all of it.

Cryptos have a future since they prevent governments from printing money.

When will that start taking effect?

i guess i should say governments can't print crypto.
printing cash works until it doesn't - the black swan is coming some day

So... this is a very dense take. You know the technology? The consensus mechanisms at work? I work at an "enterprise blockchain" company and still think that the underlying technology is a farce. There are numerous chains and projects with encryption backdoors, centralized miners, and dishonest founding teams. Listen man, you're correct that it's early. However, we're a decade in with bitcoin being tested in the wild. There are some of the brightest computer science / cryptography minds in the world working on the bitcoin protocol and, unlike many other "blockchains," we can actually define what a bitcoin full node is. The beauty is not in the *cash* aspect of the protocol, but rather the settlement assurances. I really encourage you to read up on bitcoin - it's history, contributors, and growth - before seriously bending the knee to popular blockchain media and holding on to the take that bitcoin will "disappear."

A friend recommended Jemisin to me, but I couldn't get through one book - it just seemed astonishingly bad. Very clumsy writing, very predictable au courant themes, etc.

Let me just say, that some of you may choose "better a criminal than a liberal," but if you do, those chickens will come home to roost.

No one will seriously believe you to be moral, ethical, or even legal in your dealings, from that day forward.

This comment would be a lot more credible if it weren't posted under an anonymous pseudonym.

I've always been a content over identity kind of guy. I think that still works here. Whether you are anon1, anon2, or anon3 you have the same choice.

Either speak for morality, ethics, and the law, or lose that standing.

(You are right that public personalities face a more binding choice. But I don't think there is a requirement that every citizen be a public personality.)

Absolutely true. Which is why nobody believes anyone who chose "better a criminal than Trump" in the 2016 election is moral, ethical, or remotely credible when accusing Trump of crimes.

"You're guy is a criminal"
"No, yours is"
"No, yours"

Brilliant stuff.

Not brilliant of me to say "you're" instead of "your"

But still...

So you are the troll that could have been called "anonymous2" so, so easily?

No, that's stupid. "Lock her up" was an anti-intellectual and anti-law chant, and we now know utterly baseless. Why? Because Trump's own DOJ has closed its investigation. No crimes found.

I really wonder why you want to play a game of "whack a mole" with you as the mole. I really do.

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