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Bryan Caplan: June 2016

An Author Archive by Month (16 entries)

Outline for Poverty: Who To Blame

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Bryan Caplan
My next project is my non-fiction graphic novel on the ethics and social science of immigration, tentatively titled All Roads Lead to Open Borders.  But I've already begun outlining my next big word book, Poverty: Who To Blame.  Here are... MORE

Hanson's Predictions: A 5-Page Age of Em Robustness Test

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Bryan Caplan
Robin argues that even if my main criticisms of The Age of Em are correct, most of his predictions remain true.  I'm skeptical.  On Twitter, Robin challenged me to randomly select five pages from his book to inform our dispute. ... MORE

Brexit Bet Comment

Economic Methods
Bryan Caplan
Mark Steyn seems to be declaring victory on our bet.  I now think he will win, but the terms are not yet satisfied.  As I stated last week, I will happily pay as soon as the British Parliament votes for... MORE

Earlier this year, my Ancestry and Long-Run Growth Reading Club walked through Putterman and Weil's "Post-1500 Population Flows and the Long-Run Determinants of Economic Growth and Inequality." (Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2010)  Quick review: Putterman and Weil measure the ancestral... MORE

Whenever someone presents growth regressions, a robustness check pops into my head: "What happens if you weight for population?"  Treating China and Grenada as equally probative data points just seems crazy to me.  If you want to understand how human... MORE

My Answers for Robin

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Bryan Caplan
Robin asks me:Relative to tenured professors of social science who were hypothetically given my task, and considering average accuracy relative to simple standard academic theories, what do you estimate to be my percentile rank in 1) overall accuracy, and 2)... MORE

Pre-Brexit Bet Clarification

Economic Methods
Bryan Caplan
Back in 2008, I bet:If any current EU member with a population over 10 million people in 2007 officially withdraws from the EU before January 1, 2020, I will pay you $100. Otherwise, you owe me $100.Before the June 23... MORE

Deregulation, Voodoo, and Krugman

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Many of my friends wistfully contrast the great neoliberal Krugman of the 90s with the leftist ideologue Krugman of today.  But both Krugmans are alive and well in 2016.  A stark case:In "Notes on Brexit" (June 12, 2016), Krugman scoffs... MORE

3 Answers from Robin

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
Robin's answers to my three questions: Let me emphasize yet again that I present myself in the book as an expert on facts, not on values, so my personal values should not be relevant to the quality of my book.... MORE

3 Questions for Robin

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
On a 0-10 scale, 0 being hell, 10 being paradise, how do you rate:1. Earth as it currently exists?2. The Age on Em as you describe it?3. The Age of Em if it ends in human extinction within one objective... MORE

The Age of Em: Reply to Robin

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Bryan Caplan
Here's my reply to Robin's reply to my criticisms of The Age of Em.  I'm the main text; he's in first-level blockquotes; I'm in second-level blockquotes; he's in third-level blockquotes.1. Robin only pretends to dodge philosophy of mind. .. He... MORE

Robin Hanson's The Age of Em: A Succinct Assessment

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
I've criticized Robin Hanson's Age of Em for being needlessly confusing.  To avoid being subject to the same charge, here is my succinct assessment.1. Robin Hanson is a brilliant, delightful thinker, and I'm glad he wrote the book.2. Futurism -... MORE

What's Wrong in Robin Hanson's The Age of Em

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Bryan Caplan
[Note: The Age of Em (in italics) refers to Robin's book.  The Age of Em (not in italics) refers to the hypothetical future era when whole-brain emulations become practically feasible.]While I'm thrilled that Robin Hanson has published his first book,... MORE

Regret and the Status Quo

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Zeelenberg et al's "The Inaction Effect and the Psychology of Regret" (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 2012) opens with a fascinating fact:A study of verbal expressions of emotions in everyday conversation revealed that regret was the second most frequently... MORE

What's Right in Robin Hanson's The Age of Em

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Bryan Caplan
Today is the official release date for Robin Hanson's first book, The Age of Em.  In far mode, I'm delighted.  Robin is one of my favorite minds in the universe, a perpetual motion machine of intellectual delight.  I've long been... MORE

Exclusion: The Uncanny Moral Valley

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Suppose the people of group X are a blight on society.  They may not be uniformly bad, but statistically speaking, they're trouble.  Perhaps they're criminals.  Perhaps they're parasites.  Perhaps they're bad voters.  Whatever the specifics, they're proverbially "screwing up America"... MORE

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