The CruX 11/17/18 — All Your Engines

“Because the industry has such a voracious need for capital, and capital costs money, fracking could not have taken off so dramatically were it not for record low interest rates after the 2008 financial crisis. In other words, the Federal Reserve is responsible for the fracking boom.”

The Angle 10/11/2018

It only took us 20 years to understand that digital readers get “easily distracted, flitting from link to link, and a little allergic to depth.” By contrast, if you’ve paid hard cash for a newspaper and it’s the only thing in front of you, aren’t you going to get your money’s worth? Are you going to check Google News on your phone while you’re scouring box scores? Indeed, “In print, newspapers had few if any competitors. Online, they have infinite competitors.” This is the Achilles heel of making money from digital content.

Project LinX 10/06/2018 — Gas Mask

A lot more people think they’re middle-class than actually are. This is because “middle-class” is as much an ideology as it is a salary range. By “ideology” I mean a “way of thinking” that justifies how one thinks and acts. It’s interesting that neither “lower-class” nor “upper-class” are ideologies. Neither has need for it. Both understand the true nature of class warfare. It's crucial that the middle class remains oblivious.

Steven Pinker And The Enlightenment Paradox

We sense that something has gone wrong, that our way of doing things has been disrupted by its own rules. That everything we’ve built over all this time is more fragile than it should be. We may even feel some low-frequency trauma that we might not have it as well as our parents or grandparents. What Pinker might dismiss as “un American gloominess” shouldn’t dissuade us from thinking through to some clarity about whether Enlightenment values are still sustainable, even though Enlightenment institutions are still going strong.

Project LinX 10/01/2018 — Wheels Within Wheels

Today: Low productivity, trade war, no money control, Hume this!, YubiKey, Neoliberalism is dying, benefits torch wages, Mises!, curse you Western philosophy!, and a child abuse contrarian. Come get some.

More And More This Omarosa Thing Is Looking Like A Limited Hangout

What if every hyperreal public moment of Omarosa’s has been part of a limited hangout? What would that look like? What’s its purpose? I contend that it would look very much like what we’ve seen thus far--real in some sense, contrived and coordinated in a much deeper sense such that it’s more real than real. Even more so if we consider how she threatened April Ryan, one of the few prominent black reporters in the White House briefing room, like a scene from a BET reality show. Or that weird fiasco where she brought her wedding party to the White House, like a scene from a BET soap opera.

The High Cost Of Free Speech In A Postmodern Age

Goods and rights are regulated in completely different ways. Regulating rights as if they were goods—subjecting them to what looks like the market forces of supply and demand—can lead to suppressing or marginalizing them if enough people or interests (the market) are against them. In this way the postmodern position can transform into the neoliberal position with little slack. Free speech isn’t a right at all, but a commodity, its value rising and failing as the marketplace of ideas dictates. Our “incredulity towards metanarratives” is assuaged by how natural and right neoliberal frameworks seem.

Syria Is A Black Box

Black boxes have inputs and outputs, but the connections among them and the rules that govern how causes become effects are purposely opaque so that consent can be manufactured and propaganda can be accepted without evidence. A few thoughts on how black a box Syria is: