Author Archives: artcarden

More in the Recent Reading Series

Doing the Best I Can, Kathryn Edin & Timothy Nelson: I bought this on Bryan Caplan’s recommendation, and it doesn’t disappoint. He’s right that it’s absolutely engrossing: the authors do extensive interviews that give readers a look into the lives of unwed urban fathers. The cultural difference is particularly puzzling as the authors point to […]

Read More

Even More Recent Reading

Tyler Cowen, Stubborn Attachments. You can find this for $0 on Medium, and it’s a preface to his most recent book The Complacent Class. His argument is inspiring if not airtight: he argues that we should not discount the welfare of future generations, and if this is the case it has pretty radical policy implications: […]

Read More

Salvation: Brain Candy For The Gym

I watched the first few episodes of “Salvation” after looking through Amazon Prime for something to watch on the elliptical at the gym as there are only so many podcasts you can listen to and YouTube lectures you can watch before you need a break. The first four episodes are online, and it’s worth a look […]

Read More

More Recent Reading

Nancy MacLean, Democracy in Chains: A conspiracy theory trashing the intellectual legacy of 1986 Nobel Laureate James Buchanan. Note the lack of a link: this book will worsen your understanding of the world rather than improve it. James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock, The Calculus of Consent: Societies are comprised of individuals who have to make […]

Read More

Who Were Buchanan’s Influences?

If nothing else, Democracy in Chains has sparked new research into Buchanan’s intellectual family tree. I didn’t think there were any more Pokemon to catch in “Democracy in Chains,” but I just caught a few new Omittisaurs (thanks, Daniel J. Smith, for pointing to chapter 15 of “Economics from the Outside In”). P. 163, discussing […]

Read More

“Hocus Pocus Charles Kochus” Is Not An Argument

Inside Higher Ed runs an article on the Koch conspiracy narrative from defenders of Democracy in Chains. So far, there are no attempts to engage with critics who have pointed to the book’s crippling flaws of interpretation and analysis. It’s just repetitions of the “hocus pocus Charles Kochus” spell from the little-known forthcoming volume of […]

Read More

An X-Prize Proposal: Can You Falsify Darwin?

As a Christian, I find myself increasingly dismayed with the anti-science or pseudo-science that pervades a lot of theological discourse.  I was refreshed when I read Dinesh D’Souza’s What’s So Great About Christianity?  In particular, I enjoyed his chapter on the theory of evolution in which he stated that it is perhaps reasonable to infer […]

Read More

Dry Clothes Are A Capitalist Achievement

It was wet. It was cold. It was miserable. It was New Year’s Day and we just got home from church and lunch out with friends. Birmingham was a rainy, chilly mess, and it was not the kind of day where people want to spend a lot of time outdoors. As I changed out of […]

Read More

Recent Reads

“Recent” as in “I read these in early March.” Tyler Cowen, The Complacent Class. This is a depressing volume from a self-described optimist. It’s a useful exploration of trends in productivity given that it’s easy to focus on the sector that is most dynamic (information technology). Elsewhere, Cowen has discussed other sectors—government, schooling—where productivity is […]

Read More