A Tale of the Tail

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 […]

Knowledge is Danger

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 […]

Knowing and Wanting to Look

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 […]

A Buck Is Just Another Ration Card

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 […]