This article series is what finally convinced me to stop opening Medium articles in Incognito windows to get around the paywall and finally subscribe.
I shall drink a beer in your honor, and perhaps technically speaking, on your dime, good sir.
Are you a Slatestarcodex fan, by any chance? Your writing style, and some of your references, remind me a bit of Scott Alexander.
No, but I imagine Google will get me there?
If you have any plans to keep going with this, I would love to see your take on political polarization. I’ve seen some pretty scary graphs that use the degree of party-line voting in Congress as a proxy for political polarization, showing a level not seen since the end of the civil war and trending very quickly upward. I honestly believe it’s the biggest existential threat to this country.
You know, a lot has been said about that already, and I feel as if any opinion I have on that specific topic would merely be rehashing things other people have probably said better.
Most of my deeper thinking about these sorts of topics lately has not been oriented around identifying social problems or trends, but trying to understand the sorts of underlying systems that create or buttress those trends. So in the gun case, for instance, we can spend six articles laying out data and applying reason to data and come to solutions that don’t play. We could do the same for any other issue. The intriguing thing to me is not finding the right solution, it’s to ask ourselves why these apparently correct solutions don’t play. And at their roots, I think it has to do with evolutionary biology, the human condition, and the network of layered systems that create our civilization itself.
I apparently got stuck into the Top 50 Writers list on Medium this past week on “Politics,” and honestly I don’t even like politics. It’s a fool’s errand. I’m sure that position will fall off once the wave of r/The_Donald traffic wears off.
Understanding this stuff goes back to understanding what civilization even is. What communication even is. Epistemological conflicts. How societal systems work, how they’re linked, and how they fail. Etc.
Take a look at Bret Weinstein. He’s neck deep in political bruhaha right now because of what happened at Evergreen, but he’s got a laser focus on identifying the underlying problems tied in with the nature of biology and its impact on thought, instead of getting into an ideological punching match. That’s a model that everyone should strive for in my opinion. Even though (circling back) it won’t garner as many clicks.