The DeX-Files: Conspiracy Flavor-Aid

"The American Left uses “conspiracy theory” to dismiss news and narratives it doesn’t like much in the way the American Right uses “fake news.” Other eras would’ve considered this a bug, but at this moment it’s a feature of the mainstream and alternative news and opinion cycle. Aristotle’s observation that “the more we know the more we don’t know” helps to explain why too often conspiracy theories fill in the gaps of what we don’t know...and sometimes of what we think we know. The prevalence of conspiracy theory in a time of unparalleled information abundance reveals deep anxieties that Enlightenment inspired values such as truth and opinion supported by facts and argument aren’t working as well as they once did. This examination of different ways to think about conspiracy theory is an effort in the fight against the most unfortunate trend in American intellectual life."

The DeX-Files: A House Of Cards Collapses

"The opacity of Claire's inner life over the first five seasons of House Of Cards served a singular and focused purpose. It was a lens. Through it we understood the lure of power politics in virtually every Machiavellian aspect of life. We accepted seizing and wielding power in a republic as a talent for which the most well-adapted are also the most successful and therefore the most deserving. We also squirmed as this austere dharma made meritocracy self-justifying."

The DeX-Files: The Truth About Conservatives And Libertarians

For libertarians the case against modern conservatism is that its free market values are incompatible with other traditionalist values based upon religious belief. For conservatives the case against libertarians is that no one wants to be a libertarian.

What Good Is A Minion’s Resistance If He Still Supports His Master’s Agenda? (The DexFiles 9/7/2018)

"In the face of what may be the beginning of an existential crisis for this administration, thus far no elected or appointed official has willingly jumped ship from the Trump agenda. To quote John Heileman recently on Nicole Wallace’s MSNBC show, they are "Craven, weak-willed enablers."

The Thing About Robots (The DeX Files 6/16/2018)

We know right now that the pace of technological change itself is increasing. From this it very likely follows that at some point automation and robots have to start replacing humans in most “algorithmic jobs,” those tasks (however complex) that proceed from one step to another, then start again after completion. The future isn’t just cashiers losing their jobs to software. It’s financial analysts, too.

The DeX Files 05/29/2018: News & Notes On The Great Buyback Boom

Firms investing more in capital than labor is evidence of low demand. Low demand saps productivity, which limits investment in new equipment and workers.