I know the answer

I am a child of the West. More specifically, I am a child of the United States and the mentality of answering a question is deeply-ingrained in me. I often think back to when I was in school, third or fourth grade and the teacher asked a question. I can still see the class, all boys, in sport coats, dress shirts and ties as we collectively raised our hands, we knew the answer. We wanted our teacher to know that we knew.

James Boyce


Tortella humilisImage by gjshepherd_br on Flickr

Identity Politics Is ‘An Enemy of Reason and Enlightenment Values’ç

Even the freest of free marketeers has to acknowledge that markets don’t provide a decent living to those with nothing to offer in exchange, such as the young, old, sick, and unlucky, and they also have to acknowledge that markets alone fail to protect public goods that no one owns, such as the atmosphere. Not surprisingly, all wealthy capitalist countries have extensive social spending and regulation. And as a Canadian I can confirm that free-market societies with greater social spending and regulation than the United States are not grim dystopias sliding down a slippery slope to Venezuela, but are rather pleasant places to live, with greater happiness and longevity, and less violent crime, abortion, sexually transmitted diseases, and educational mediocrity.

Steven Pinker

Identity politics: Called up

Tracking via mobile phone scares the guilty and innocent alike

IN AMERICA and Britain getting hold of a pre-paid mobile phone or SIM card (which gives a phone its number) requires little or no paperwork. For a small fee, customers can make calls, send texts and access the internet anonymously. Efforts to register users’ names and addresses have stalled. Privacy trumps claims that anonymous phones are tools of terror and crime. The Economist

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