Kicking against the Ticks

by Henry Farrell on April 4, 2023

Attention conservation notice: short but entirely speculative exercise in amateur sociology/game theory, by someone who has no professional license to do either, and had a blue tick for a couple of years but was always bemused as to why.

A quick note as to what went wrong with the Elon Musk strategy of giving power to the peasants. My take is that the Tyler Cowen case that “Elon is already ahead of the critics on this one, and was all along” was wrong, and that the politics of online aristocracy aren’t nearly what Musk thought they were. [click to continue…]

No-Bullshit Democracy

by Henry Farrell on April 4, 2023

Hugo Mercier, Melissa Schwartzberg and I have two closely related publications on what we’ve been calling “No-Bullshit Democracy.” One is aimed at academics – it’s a very short piece that has just been officially published in American Political Science Review. The other just came out in Democracy. It’s aimed at a broader audience, and is undoubtedly livelier. An excerpt of the Democracy piece follows – if you want to read it, click on this link. The APSR academic letter (which can be republished under a Creative Commons license) is under the fold. Which one you might want to read depends on whether you value footnotes more than fisticuffs, or vice versa …

The New Libertarian Elitists

What might be called “no-bullshit democracy” would be a new way of structuring democratic disagreement that would use human argumentativeness as a rapid-growth fertilizer. … But first we need to sluice away the bullshit that is being liberally spread around by anti-democratic thinkers. … . Experts, including Brennan and Caplan (and for that matter ourselves), can be at least as enthusiastic as ordinary citizens to grab at ideologically convenient factoids and ignore or explain away inconvenient evidence. That, unfortunately, is why Brennan and Caplan’s books do a better job displaying the faults of human reasoning than explaining them.

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