Ideas For Fribrarians

September 6, 2021

With as much power as we assign to government and hence the need for good governing, are we asking too much of citizens via the vote? Specifically, Jason Brennan asks if politics is beyond the grasp of many people’s capacities.

Michael Huemer wants to know if Reincarnation > Heaven.

Derek Sivers asks if we have too many “pets”.

July 24, 2021

Do you know the difference between a bog, a fen, a swamp, and a marsh? Do you know the two ways to have a first cousin once removed? Can you read dog body language? Get all that and much more with these infographics.

Fribrarians will have various parallels with the Resident Contrarian’s explainer on Christian culture.

For what has become a regular feature, Michael Huemer explains that there ARE aliens, but they are probably NOT here.

Heaton fixed the Jones Act–’bout time!

June 21, 2021

Perhaps we should move to Próspera–great overview by Scott Alexander.

Jason Crawford explains why nuclear energy, the most economically efficient (this means environmentally desirable) energy source, has been a flop.

Sorry Lucas and Josh, the recent UFOs (UAPs more accurately) are very, very likely not real.

Polygamy explainer, where everything goes.

Email tips from Tim Harford.

April 25, 2021

Robin Hanson has been thinking about UFOs and aliens A LOT lately. Here are two of the more interesting of his many interesting contributions: Do Foo Fighters Show Our Snafu Fubar Future? & Explaining Stylized UFO Facts.

If aliens are out there, we may need to (and they may want us to) store 6.7 million species DNA on the Moon.

This is why we don’t “fix” in post every time some one says ‘um’, ‘uh’, or ‘like’.

Three short, awesome videos:

March 22, 2021

Check out this solid 15 minutes of science facts.

Michael Huemer asks “What should students learn?” and answers in three parts (1, 2, 3) and follows up with why he hates Shakespeare.

The Resident Contrarian writes what was for me an eye opening piece on the experience of being poor-ish.

Regardless of how you feel about helping the poor, helping the relatively well off vis-à-vis forgiving student loans is a bad idea as argued by Art Carden.

February 18, 2021

Eli Dourado is fairly optimistic on technology in the 2020s. Let’s hope he is right.

NASA, on the other hand, just delivered some pessimistic news on the chances of aliens front.

Can you sell a kidney to yourself? If so, Jason Brennan wants to know why you can’t sell it to someone else.

January 17, 2021

Ah, come on. 2020 wasn’t all bad, right?

You cannot give from your excess. You’ll only be forcing others to do the giving.

December 12, 2020

Steve Landsburg has a vaccine puzzle for us to solve.

Even for those of us in our extremely late 20s, it is time to stop aging.

November 22, 2020

Here are some good suggestions for an advanced stage of The Lightning Round.

October 13, 2020

This may disappoint Lucas: Why is there something rather than nothing? Well, math.

This philosopher makes a moral case in support of Kevin’s position on politics.

Why Bryson DeChambeau wins

The poker scandal that ripped the poker world apart.

Would a parliamentary system cure our political ills?

September 22, 2020

Ivor Cummins has a take on COVID that is quite thought provocative.

Work your way through this four-part series on China’s role in the COVID-19 pandemic. Quite interesting and thorough.

September 13, 2020

The solution to California’s wildfires is not a mystery–it is just politically inconvenient.

Is Superman the hero we need?

August 30, 2020

Against environmental pessimism

Do This! The guide to being better.

Defining the ’90s Music Canon

July 26, 2020

The problem with “just asking questions”

A list of things that are a LOT better in the last 20-30 years.

This is how you can put a price on human life.

The case for tyranny.

June 12, 2020

Three about meat eating: What do humans owe animals? The climate impact of meat. Is meat eating a net harm?

May 9, 2020

It’s time to build!

April 19, 2020

Here is how big (and small) countries really are.

Don’t know much about chemistry? Start with 5 facts everyone should know.

Perhaps we are doomed after all?

Sooo, are high-saturated-fat diets good or not so good?

Four geoengineering solutions to help the climate.

March 8, 2020

We will NOT run out of resources.

Archery 2.0.

Alienating the Audience – The Tarkin Doctrine and Imperial Apologists

Alienating the Audience – Let’s Argue About “The Rise of Skywalker”

December 16, 2019

Implementing science-based policy is fraught.

David Siegel’s favorite narcotics–ones he loves.

From the self help files: How to ask for a raise.

Prohibition is always a failure. Sports is yet another example.

October 9, 2019

The Past Is a Nice Place to Visit. You Wouldn’t Want to Live There.

Where have all the great songwriters gone? Long time passing . . .

September 10, 2019

The myth of American middle-class stagnation

Lightsabers are implausible not impossible.

I found this and other samples humorous. Your mileage may vary.

July 8, 2019

Andrew Heaton on The Fermi Paradox

Don Boudreaux on why it is good that firefighters and teachers command relatively low pay

Remember, kids, recycling is garbage.

Designer babies to stop entropy?

Here is a real problem to worry about.

Books don’t work.

Two from Mike Munger: Is Capitalism Worth Saving? Well, It Saved Sweden.

May 18, 2019

That thing you think you know, that stuff I believe, those practices we follow . . . yep, you, I, we are wrong. READ THIS!

Some pessimism/optimism for you:

How good is the Universe? (pessimism)

How good are we? (pessimism)

You should have been happy on the recent Earth Day. (optimism)

Economics and happiness (little column A, little column B)

May 7, 2019

So… Asteroids are like bad news, dude.

The Battle of Winterfell: A Tactical Analysis

April 8, 2019

More reasons for optimism (except for Big Old MacDonald)

On a more somber note, why do army ants commit suicide?

One idea to help reduce carbon would be to buy coal.

Fake (scary) news

The latest in AI-created content has spurred Scott Alexander to some deep thoughts: How do they dream?At what point is it general intelligence?, and Who’s to say what is ‘meaningful’?

February 7, 2019

The world is getting better, you pessimists. Better for humans. Better for the environment.

But perhaps that is to no avail since people prefer pessimism.

Tyler has a one hour to teach you economics–he does so in several short videos.

52 things learned by Kent Hendricks in 2018.

52 things learned by Tom Whitwell in 2018.

Tips for political debate from philosopher Michael Huemer: part 1 and part 2.

Do you stand on stairs and walk on escalators–which kind of thinker are you? There are wrong answers here and right answers for wrong reasons. I know Kevin won’t believe until he sees the math.

November 14, 2018


There Are No Natural Resources.

What’s Really in Your Fish Oil?

Julia Belluz on Epidemiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism

Myers-Briggs Is Bunk

The New Science of Seeing Around Corners

Never, and I mean NEVER, talk to the police.

While we would all struggle being true to the recommendation in this podcast, I think Kevin would have the most difficult time.

Speaking of things Kevin (and Josh and others) might find interesting…

September 3, 2018

Frank Abagnale (“Catch Me If You Can”) spoke at Google. The talk and the Q&A were excellent.

We should always remember that EVERY law is violent at its ultimate end. If you are not prepared to kill to enforce it, it should not be a law.

A four-step process for making difficult decisions.

Grumpy has three links to make you depressed about the current state of public policy.

July 24, 2018

I miss this guy.

The man who cracked horse racing and made $1 billion.

What Earth looked like through the ages with current day political boundaries drawn in.

I guarantee you that politician cannot guarantee jobs.

Our innate tendency of moving the goalposts means we can never not have bad things.

Perhaps the truth lies somewhere between the absolute truth and truth denial.

June 19, 2018

What level is your thinking at? And don’t tell me, “Ours go to eleven.”

Surfing the Internet is not dead; it has only changed form.

How did Anna con all of New York?

Forced rankings as problems

With apologies to disappointing Josh, the lack of one simple ingredient is making the probability of E.T. look very low.

May 22, 2018

Respect for Tex Mex

Did you hear what the hell happened in Havana?

Peeling back the layers of a city

Evolution via cities

And, an evolutionary mystery

How would we communicate to and impress the others in the Universe?

Bootleggers and Baptists in the puppy trade

April 21, 2018

Two from Seth: Be glad when they steal from you and get the default settings right.

A good reminder that we are biased toward a sensitivity to bad news.

April 10, 2018

Getting paid to be fired.

When the sheriff can get paid to take food from prisoners.

Quit being afraid.

April 3, 2018:

A new view on the moon.

This is how to pay college athletes. & The silliest economic claim ever.

Test your conspiracy theories.

Gun control reconsidered.

Puritanical millennials. 

Friston’s Free Energy and Predictive Depression.

Buying local: the impossibility.

A keyhole solution for harassment.

The KGB’s nuclear winter theory.