Just for fun, did you guys see this?
Thriller, by Bill Clinton and James Patterson is getting some good reviews.
I rarely read anything in the thriller, political intrigue genre. Of course, nobody could have the details to write a fictional president like someone who has actually been the president.
From his fictional president, “Our democracy cannot survive it’s current downward drift into tribalism, extremism, and seething resentment.” Amen, President Clinton.
Well, in order to avoid writing a wall of text you can check out the spectacular Taleb vs Pinker feud. If valid arguments debunking Pinker’s statistics peppered with copious amount of Taleb’s insults such as “non-deadlifting chinless asshole” are too tiresome, then I suggest reading John Gray’s takedowns of Pinker.
I haven’t read Taleb yet, and I know some of you guys really like him. @loppar and @dchris, what would be the best place to start with Taleb?
I read the John Gray critiques of Steven Pinker that you put up @loppar. Thank you. In that first link, he’s talking about Pinker’s newest book, Enlightenment Now, which I haven’t read, so I can’t really speak to that. There’s some overlap in topics, but as I mentioned, I’m starting with The Blank Slate and it’s a great read, IMO.
There are ongoing hot debates within that field, (the anthropology of war), and Pinker covers a lot of that in Blank Slate, but the points covered in Gray’s reviews there are only a very, very small fraction of the ideas in The Blank Slate. The book covers a lot of ground in cognitive science, evolutionary psychology and behavioral genetics. WAY more in there than anthropology of war stuff.
You can read Pinker arguing back and forth with people in his field, but most of us aren’t going to know enough to take a stance on these arguments.
It’s heavy reading for me. Lots of science and philosophy.
Kinda… The elite theory is that the elite control the world. NNT’s Minority Rule doesn’t limit it to one minority (the rich). An example: if Muslims and Jews do not eat non-kosher food, and they represent X% of the population, then you are limiting your market to 100% - X% = Y. It’s cost effective and simple to produce food that is kosher and place a small insignia notating ‘kosher’. In effect, the minority, or X%, has dictated the practice of thousands of businesses. He goes into many more other examples as wel.