Legal forms that were well adapted to a world in which wealth was zero sum, and borrowing against an estate could serve no purpose other than to carry out a slow transfer of it to others, were poorly adapted to a world in which wealth could be created, and borrowing against an estate could fund […]
At the end of Who We Are and How We Got Here, David Reich observes that genetic analysis of ancient DNA “has overwhelmingly had the effect of exploding stereotypes, undercutting prejudice, and highlighting the connections among peoples not previously known to be related.” This because the study of ancient DNA has revealed that most groups […]
Matt Levine argues in opposition to my call for an advertising ban that Google is not a good substitute for advertising because it can’t help you find products you don’t know to look for. Wrong for three reasons, I think. First, there are lots of Google-discoverable websites devoted to informing you about things, including products […]
Nine are enough.
You have a set of samples and you are interested in learning something about the probability distribution from which they are drawn. That something is the parameter of interest. It might be the mean. If you do something to the samples, add them together, for example, then you might lose some piece of information that […]
Raise taxes until philanthropy disappears. Why should the unelected rich decide how your taxes are spent on public projects?
Saying that adverse selection in insurance is a problem to be eliminated because it frustrates marginal cost pricing is like saying that R&D fixed costs leading to innovation and product improvement are a problem to be eliminated because they frustrate marginal cost pricing.
If you are going to put monumental plant sculptures in the botanical garden they ought to be made entirely of plants. That includes the skeleton. It might take 50 years to raise a tree to look like a cobra and grow appropriate plants upon it in a symbiotic mix. But so much the more for […]
The price system, like queuing, is just another way of rationing access to resources. And it’s perfectly reasonable for the government to prefer to impose a queuing system over a price system in certain circumstances. For example, if you don’t want the rich to take all of a fixed resource. So it’s perfectly reasonable for […]