My Faults My Own

…willing to sacrifice something we don't have

for something we won't have, so somebody will someday.

IN WHICH Ross Rheingans-Yoo, a sometimes-poet and erstwhile student of Computer Science and Math, oc­cas­ion­al­ly writes on things of int­erest.

Reading Feed (last update: June 21)

A collection of things that I was happy I read. Views expressed by linked authors are chosen because I think they're interesting, not because I think they're correct, unless indicated otherwise.


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Blog: Marginal Revolution | Which technological advances have improved the working of autocracy? — The big innovation in authoritarian governance has been this: subsequent autocratic leaders, most of all in China, have found ways of both liberalizing and staying in power.

Blog: Schneier on Security | Free Societies are at a Disadvantage in National Cybersecurity — "I do worry that these disadvantages will someday become intolerable. Dan Geer often said that "the price of freedom is the probability of crime." We are willing to pay this price because it isn't that high. As technology makes individual and small-group actors more powerful, this price will

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As Allies

content warning: political call to action.


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Say you are deeply, morally opposed to capitalism on principle, but nevertheless some inconsiderate person walks up to you, presses a dollar bill into your hand, and walks away. You already have more dollars than you need, and you certainly don't want to take part in the system you despise by spending it.

But then what do you do? Hide it away in order to level down inequity? Burn it in protest of the capitalist system that distributes luxuries to the rich instead of welfare to the starving?

Writes Scott Alexander:

If, as I’ve postulated, the reason we can’t solve world poverty and disease and so on is...the capture of our financial resources by the undirected dance of incentives, then what better way to fight back than by saying "Thanks but no thanks, I'm taking this abstract representation of my resources and using it exactly how I think it

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A Place and a Role for Allies

This is part 3 of ? of a recurring series on approaching debates with a mind toward actually changing minds and the world.

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I've got some things to say in upcoming posts about how to fight the good fight re: identity politics, but first, I think it'd be useful for all of us to get a huge disclaimer out of the way. (This post had a bit of scope creep, too, and I ended up saying lots of standalone-important things.)

I'll get to it obliquely, by way of background first:


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Connor Harris posts on Facebook:

Connor Harris: It is easy for progressive students at politically homogeneous colleges to forget that there exist self-consistent arguments against same-sex marriage, transgender rights, and any other progressive policy you should care to name.

Thomism, for example, is nothing if not self-consistent. One can reject the premises of these arguments (I do), or think that they're logically weak (I think they mostly are), but they do exist and some people find them compelling.

Nevertheless, left-wing

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