Saturday, October 17, 2015

Civil Curs, Demon Debaters, and The Long Haul

So.  Hugo season is over, time to start another Hugo season.

I stopped posting on the Hugos early last summer, as a Project from Hell at work ate my life.  (The reward for successfully finishing that?  More work. *sigh*)  Since then, I’ve started easing back into the SFF/blogging side of things.  (Also the writing side.)  Of course, soon as I do, Larry Correia over at Monster Hunter Nation up and posts a guest article(1) from Chuck Gannon (2) . You can find the column – “Ends, Means, and Arsonists, Or The Importance of Saying “Yes” to Civility While Saying “No” to Passivityhere.  Once read, one should read the comments (here.)  And then one should read the comments at John Scalzi’s Whatever (here), where Gannon crossposted the article.

Go, read.

My thoughts are below the cut.

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Nobel Prize Winner for Economics... a man whose book I have actually read.

*checks window for flying pigs*

 Angus Deaton has done close and illuminating work in development economics for years.  His most recent book is  The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality.  I picked this up when I was reading up on effective aid and development, and from the title pretty much expected a philosophical tract decrying Western Civ et al.

I was wrong on two counts - firstly, there is a LOT of math.  Secondly, as far as I can tell Deaton doesn't much care about Western Civ or the many alleged injustices of its past.

He cares that people who are poor get sick and die faster than those of us who are not.  And he looks for ways to fix that poverty thing. (By vastly improving the models used to count poor people, so the experiments can be replicated/tracked.  If you can't count something, it doesn't count.) Plus! Deaton's language is clear and engaging.  And did I mention the math?  There is math.And footnotes.