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Slate Star Codex Podcast

Nov 22, 2017

Earlier this year, Nathan Robinson of Current Affairs wrote an article against school vouchers. He argued that private schools would be so focused on profit that they would sacrifice quality, and that competition wouldn’t be enough to keep them in line.

I counterargued that yes it would, and cited among other things...


Nov 16, 2017

Question I’d never thought to ask before: are we sure it’s a good idea to let people know what the laws are?

The Chinese legal system originated somewhat over 2000 years ago in the conflict between two views of law, legalist and Confucianist. The legalists, who believed in using the rational self-interest of those...


Nov 14, 2017

Medieval Icelandic crime victims would sell the right to pursue a perpetrator to the highest bidder. 18th century English justice replaced fines with criminals bribing prosecutors to drop cases. Somali judges compete on the free market; those who give bad verdicts get a reputation that drives away future...


Nov 9, 2017

The Alchemist asked if I wanted a drink. I did, but no amount of staring could make my eyes settle on the color of the liquid in the flask. And the gold the alchemists paid the taxmen smelled funny and made crackling noises. I declined.

I took the summons and set it on the table between us. The King’s son was dying....


Nov 8, 2017

I turn 33 today. I can only hope that age brings wisdom.

We’ve been talking recently about the high-level frames and heuristics that organize other concepts. They’re hard to transmit, and you have to rediscover them on your own, sometimes with the help of lots of different explanations and viewpoints (or one very...