Not being a brilliant (analytic?) philosopher I probably shouldn’t say anything, but... If you’re a b(a?)p and you claim that X is a significant dependence in a question (significant enough to mention), then you’re setting an expectation that X will be part of the answer, and you should meet that expectation.

Oh, cripes — my dentist recommended a podcast he listens to called Freakonomics and now I have to find a new dentist.

The zeitgeist speaks: “If all the ESG-focused investors divest from thermal coal, and they get all of the ESG-curious energy companies they own to divest from thermal coal, then the thermal coal mines will end up in the hands of investors who don’t care about ESG.” (Matt Levine, Money Stuff, Bloomberg Opinion, 2021 Dec 20)

What, pray tell, is “thermal coal”? Also, does the level of argument sinking to “if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns” mean coal’s on its last legs?

Is anybody else reading virology reports on the Omicron varient and interpreting “CPE” to mean “customer premise equipment”? No? You should try it, it adds a little lightness to a troublesome circumstance.

Wow, another sleep-related cool word of the day: hypnopompic.

My favorite part of any story about the upcoming British-French fish war is when they’re inevitably described as two NATO allies. My heavens, how can this be?! Gentlemen! You can’t fight here, this is the War Room.

There’s a proposal to measure risk as k = -log (1 - p), where p is the probability of success (and so 1 - p is the probability of failure). Because this formula looks like the formula for entropy, and because everyone understands entropy, I predict nothing but blue skies and sunshine for this proposal.

Is Jack Nicholson the David Letterman of acting, or is David Letterman the Jack Nicholson of late-night talk-show hosts?

Cool word of the day: somniloquence. As we used to hear in grade school, use it three times and it’s yours.

Here’s a fun little exercise: you’re writing an essay titled “This Isn’t The Essay’s Title” (and yes, the essay uses Magritte’s “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” as an illustration, but assume you weren’t involved with that). The essay starts with the story about Einstein and Morgenstern taking Gödel to his U.S. citizenship hearing. How would you end the essay?

For a more challenging exercise, deny yourself the opportunity to mention Wittgenstein.

Sometimes I get dispondent over my inability to see more than one move ahead, then I remember that a) people are urging Stephen Breyer to retire now from the Supreme Court and b) the Democrats’ most recent Supreme Court nominee was Merrick Garland.

Have we become so stupid that the veil of ignorance no longer works? Do we need to move on to the big stick of ignorance, or maybe the flying brick of ignorance?

Is there a Tumblr of OnlyFans performers complaining about having to pay taxes? So hot.

Some people are foxes and other people are hedgehogs, but it’s also likely foxes think they’re hedgehogs in each of the many things they know.

I was today years old when I realized I could type names into Google translate to hear how they're pronounced.

Thus, Suk Gerson reluctantly endorses the view of another law professor, John Yoo of the University of California, Berkeley, that the federal government “has limited powers to respond to a pandemic.”

— William Vogeli, Knowing, Choosing, Doing
The Claremont Review of Books, Summer, 2020

They killed irony, and now they’re pissing on its grave.

I’ve come up with a new fallacy* while listening to Julia Galef and Matt Yglesias look for their Iraq-war car keys under the rationalist streetlight: the iterated blank-slate fallacy. It’s like the blank-slate fallacy, but can be invoked at the point of analysis instead of at birth.

* It’s almost certainly not original, and probably not a fallacy, but my interest extends little beyond making cheap jokes.

Is it easier to peel an orange latitudinally or longitudinally? Empirically latitudinally seems easier towards the blossom end, and it doesn’t seem to matter towards the stem end (which means latitudinally wins via convenience).

I saw the NSW contact tracing video and now I want to marry a woman who puts three syllables and two vowels in “no.”

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