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Guns, Toilets, and Steel: Different customs regarding humanure explain a lot of the differences in economic development.

The Humanure Handbook, by Joseph Jenkins, is a pioneering guide for people who want a simple composting toilet system.  I have used toilets that were inspired by the Handbook both in Guatemala and at a community a couple hours drive

Posted in Development

Crime is down. Police brutality is down. Racist policing is down. Why do most Americans believe the opposite?

Crime has been dropping for three decades straight now, but about 60-70% of Americans have been misled into thinking that crime is increasing this whole time. I feel a lot safer nowadays partly because I pay attention to statistics and

Posted in Violence & Peace

2019 was the best year for median income on record in America. Too bad the pandemic has probably knocked it back down for 2020.

This is great news from the Census Bureau in a time when there isn’t a lot of other great news. The different saturation of the lines in the 2000s represent changes in the methodology for calculating median income, which makes

Posted in Medianism

Why did the stock market rise to record highs during the Covid-19 pandemic? Is it a bubble?

The timing of stock market gyrations are often hard to explain, and although the stock market crash at the beginning of the Covid pandemic is easy to understand, the dramatic rise later in the pandemic is harder to understand. Why

Posted in Macro

When the police union fundraisers call, politely ask them what they think they should do about bad apples among the police. They will hang up as if you called them the N-word. Defund the police UNIONS.

I got two calls from police unions this week around supper time. Both times, the guy jabbered along on his script without listening as I asked repeatedly if I could say something. When I got to interrupt his pitch, I

Posted in Public Finance

Argument from authority is necessary for scientific progress.

Sir Isaac Newton said, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” Every scientific advance is based on the work of others and so we need to know what scientific work is accurate so

Posted in Culture, Philosophy and ethics

Racial progress: compare the riots of 1967 with the riots today. We’ve come a long way baby.

Read this classic Esquire essay from 1968. Police brutality was way worse back then. They just massacred people in some cases. White supremacist militias were more dangerous and shot more people. Entire neighborhoods burned for days. It was close to

Posted in Discrimination, Violence & Peace

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