The Roots of American Dysfunction

As a rule, systems fascinate me. Technical systems, political systems, cultural systems–you name it. The country in which I live–the United States–makes for a particularly puzzling, sometimes aggravating system. In this case, “dysfunction” doesn’t mean the system is bad, but it does point to a system that is not functioning…


Drug Pricing Mayhem

By this point you have likely heard of Martin Shkreli, the entrepreneur who thought he could make a killing by buying the rights to an anti-parasite drug and jacking the price up 5000%. While he eventually relented and promised to lower the price, the PR damage had been done: he and…


A Fortnight and Change(s)

Two weeks into this blog project, I’m still not certain how I will fare attempting to do this long-term. Working full-time takes a lot of energy, and I don’t always feel up to making a post here. Nevertheless, I do it anyway. I’m not willing to slap up any old…


Link Roundup: October 24, 2015

It’s that time again! This week, I am taking a slightly different approach. Links will be categorized in sections so it’s easier to focus on what you might want to look at. So, here are this week’s Links of Interest!


Working: Then and Now

In the early 1970s, writer and broadcaster Studs Terkel interviewed dozens of working people in America. The result was Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do. The book is a classic of modern history, providing narrative snapshots of working life that are hard…


Letting Go of Objectivity

Objectivity is commonly viewed as the gold standard for debate and discussion of contentious topics. Bring facts, figures, and evidence, or go home! But this obsession with evidence in human matters–and the constraining of what we’ll accept as evidence–hinders, rather than helps, our access to the truth. There is a better model, one…


No Picture

Some modifications

This is not worthy of a full post, so I’m going to try out the “aside” feature. All posts thus far have been modified to have a cut, so the main page doesn’t show full text on every post anymore. This will make browsing for particular posts easier, and better…


White Supremacy: What Can’t Be Unseen

For most white Americans, the term “white supremacy” brings to mind the Ku Klux Klan, slavery, lynching, maybe Nazis, folks using the n-word as a slur, and other obvious displays of racism. We may be less inclined to see white supremacy in a welfare office, or in legislators drafting a new…


Demystifying Credit

This could be considered a more practical companion piece to what I wrote yesterday. I was initially on the fence as to whether I should write strictly informational–that is, non-editorial/opinion articles–but I think there are areas where I can provide useful information to people, and this is one of them.


The Student Loan Scam

Full disclosure: I am currently paying federal student loans that I obtained while in college. I never finished college and it was never a huge amount (about $6000), nor do I expect any kind of reform to ever benefit me, but it would be unfair to say I’m a completely disinterested…