How Far Away Are We?

A Glorious Mishmash…

… of art, sports, culture, movies, globalization. Via splainer.in

Martin Scorsese and Roger Ebert Talking Movies

Most of you will have heard of Martin Scorsese (duh), but perhaps not everybody will have heard of Roger Ebert. If you’re looking to improve your writing, read his reviews.

His reviews are also a great way to pick what to watch on pretty much any night. Also watch his reviews with Gene Siskel.

But for today, enjoy this conversation between two people who knew just a little bit about movies

The Via Negativas of Public Policy

I learnt of the phrase by reading Taleb:

[I]n practice it is the negative thatโ€™s used by the pros, those selected by evolution: chess grandmasters usually win by not losing; people become rich by not going bust (particularly when others do); religions are mostly about interdicts; the learning of life is about what to avoid.

https://fs.blog/2014/01/a-wonderfully-simple-heuristic-to-recgonize-charlatans/

And it is wonderful advice of course, always worth keeping in mind: sometimes the best way to learn is by cutting out the bad parts, rather than trying to add in new good ones. There is merit to both, of course – cutting out the bad and adding in the good. But maybe cutting out the bad ideas first is a, er, good idea?

Losing fat before adding muscle is one way to think about it.1


And so also with public policy! Pranay Kotasthane, co-author of Anticipating the Unintended, has a lovely video out on this topic:

Definitely worth a watch, and while I am tempted to list out the eight, I won’t – for at the margin, some of you might be tempted to not watch the video ๐Ÿ™‚

But I’ll militate against the spirit of this post, and add one of my own to the list that you’re about to learn: time.

I think a student of public policy ought to avoid short-termism. Fancy pants speak that simply means don’t just think about the short term benefits, but also worry about the long term consequences.

Unfortunately (public policy is hard!) policies have a way of sticking around for long after they’ve outlived their usefulness, but that’s a story for another day.

For the moment, please watch the video ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. I’m good at spouting theory, not so good at the practice![]

The Economist on Why Nuclear Energy is so Unpopular

This ties in nicely with the Twitter Stories bit that spoke about pre and post nuclear bomb steel:

Neil Gaiman: Make Good Art

This is a really old video, but always worth watching.

Neil Gaiman, ladies and gentlemen:

Just The Thing for a Sunday?

What would Keynes have thought about this, had he been alive in this of all years in the 21st century?

Video for 24th Jan, 2021

h/t Devansh Vora

Cowen and Tabarrok Talk Coivd-19

That’s all you need to say, no?

Video for 1st Nov, 2020: The Important before the Urgent