Archive for January, 2017

Medieval Banking: The Influence of the Crusader States on European Banking

January 31, 2017

Tim Harford offers a short but useful piece on the medieval origins of modern banking—in the Knights Templar, the great fair of Lyon, and so on.* The Templars dedicated themselves to the defence of Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem. The city had been captured by the first crusade in 1099 and pilgrims began to stream in, […]

via Banking and value — occasional links & commentary


John Arnold as Skeptic: Criticizing and Correcting Bad Science, Promoting Good Science

January 28, 2017

BRIAN NOSEK HAD pretty much given up on finding a funder. For two years he had sent out grant proposals for his software project. And for two years they had been rejected again and again—which was, by 2011, discouraging but not all that surprising to the 38-year-old scientist. An associate professor at the University of […]

via John Arnold Made a Fortune at Enron. Now He’s Declared War on Bad Science — Nutrition Squared

Anthony Atkinson on Inequality

January 28, 2017

“Thomas Piketty might be a more famous name in inequality studies today but by the time his magnum opus, Capital in the Twenty-First Century was published in 2014, Atkinson had already clocked over 40 years of research on issues of distribution of wealth, income and property.” My article on Sir Anthony Atkinson in The […]

via Anthony Atkinson, Economist Whose Studies on Inequality Broke New Ground — Unlearning By Doing

Trump and the Jacksonian Revolt: The Pendulum Swing Away from “Liberal Order Building” American Foreign Policy

January 28, 2017

For the first time in 70 years, the American people have elected a president who disparages the policies, ideas, and institutions at the heart of postwar U.S. foreign policy. No one knows how the foreign policy of the Trump administration will take shape, or how the new president’s priorities and preferences will shift as he encounters the torrent of events and crises […]

via The Jacksonian Revolt – By Walter Russell Mead January 20, 2017 — Just Sayin’

Lichens – cooperation or predation?

January 17, 2017

A story I wrote in July of last year described a huge change in our understanding of one of the best known cases of symbiosis: the view that a lichen is a symbiotic partnership between a fungus and an alga. That happens to be true—the alga photosynthesizes, producing food for the fungus, while the fungus provides support, […]

via The lichen story and the guy who revised it — Why Evolution Is True

Fake Writing from the Masters of Fake News

January 10, 2017

UPDATE: Readers have noted in the comments that Crowley also stands accused of plagiarizing parts of her Ph.D. dissertation in international relations at Columbia University. Politico reports (and gives examples in their piece: Crowley submitted her dissertation, titled “Clearer Than Truth: Determining and Preserving Grand Strategy: The Evolution of American Policy Toward the People’s Republic of […]

via Monica Crowley’s book pulled by HarperCollins — Why Evolution Is True

Free speech disappearing in Turkey — Why Evolution Is True

January 5, 2017

Under the despot Recep Erdoğan, the wonderful country of Turkey is becoming a nightmare, with people arrested for insulting the President (this includes a former Miss Turkey), the media muzzled, social media shut down when it calls attention to the President’s malfeasance, and an increasing censorship that is going to take a once-enlightened Nation back […]

via Free speech disappearing in Turkey — Why Evolution Is True