Median Voter Guy

July 6, 2020

The Hardest Job in the World: The American Presidency (2020), John Dickerson, a long book with 31 chapters of varying interest. Presumably the book got much longer with the Trump presidency. One of the problems of being a mainstream journalist is the need for complete...

June 18, 2020

21 Lessons for the 21st Century (2018), Yuval Harari; basically 21 essays of various topics, some interesting and useful, some not so much (like many journalists, several were published elsewhere first). Harari has a unique perspective on things, an interesting writing...

June 8, 2020

It seems obvious that we've been in recession when the pandemic shutdown happened. However, the unofficial definition of a recession is two quarters of declining gross domestic product (GDP). The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) calls recession and they did...

May 24, 2020

The “middle ground fallacy” claims each extreme side is equally right or wrong and the truth must lie in the middle. First, as median voter guy, I tend to be in the middle and prefer to land a compromise making both sides equally uncomfortable. Thanks to the increasing...

May 21, 2020

Logical fallacies are types of faulty reasoning. They can be categorized by structure (formal) or content (informal). Formal fallacies are based on a flaw in construction of a deductive argument, like claiming something is true because it might be true (appeal to proba...

May 18, 2020

Every once in a while, I come across new terms that seem important and worth further investigation. Ezra Klein (see book review) used the term motivated reasoning to explain why people hold position that seem to be contradicted by the facts. This seems similar to multi...

May 14, 2020

Writing about scandals and corruption, I’ve included justice and how it is applicable. Based on a fair bit of recent reading, should “survival of the fittest” be an added component? Let’s review. Following Harvard Philosopher Michael Sandel, there are five major concep...

May 10, 2020

No question, unemployment is skyrocketing, probably to levels never seen before. Two sets of numbers are reported on the news: 1) new unemployment claims and 2) the unemployment rate. What does it all mean?

  1. New unemployment claims. Unemployment insurance started as...

April 17, 2020

How can probabilities be used to improve economic projections, especially for considering multiple alternatives? Probability is the likelihood of a particular event, measured between zero and one; zero means no chance, one is certainty. On a coin flip, the probability...

April 15, 2020

This is the first of a multi-part blog on predictions based on probability statement, using a Tetlock framework. Part 2 will explore the use of probabilities, with particular focus on a quantitative approach. Part 3 will consider the local real estate market and what p...

April 6, 2020

Running Against the Devil: A Plot to Save America From Trump--and Democrats From Themselves (2020), Rick Wilson. Wilson is (or was) a Republican operative running political campaigns fair and foul, opposing Trump as a corrupt incompetent narcissist rather than a conser...

March 11, 2020

Why We're Polarized: Ezra Klein (2020). This is an important book with lots of content from several perspectives, including a substantial amount of academic research. Historically, it's not a pretty story. The Democrats were mainly northern liberals and Dixiecrats, Rep...

March 4, 2020

Surviving in Putin's Russia is the focus of this book, telling the stories of people in very different circumstances, some famous and important (at least in Russia), some not. Basically, how to survive in a repressive state. Part of it is long-term culture, even going...

February 27, 2020

Arguing With Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future (2020), Paul Krugman. The thesis is that a number of ideas have been proved false, but continue to be supported by Republicans, like tax cuts for rich people pay for themselves and global warm...

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© 2016 Gary Giroux