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How to Bamboozle a Billionaire

Continuing his “hey, let’s get to know normal people” tour, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and his wife traveled to Alaska and came back with some musings on the “basic income,” the idea of giving everybody in the country a monthly check to live on whether they do any work or not. But in drawing on Alaska […]

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Facebook and Silicon Valley’s Gated Boomtowns

Facebook has just announced its plans to build an old-fashioned “company town”—except that these days, since Millennials are never expected to act as if they leave college, it is called a “campus.” Facebook’s proposed Willow Campus in Silicon Valley’s Menlo Park won’t just have offices. It will have 1500 units of housing, along with grocery […]

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Dear Trump Critics: This Is an OODA Loop, Please Get One

Our politics is settling down to into a distinct pattern. It goes like this. Donald Trump says or does something that ranges from the provocative, to the childish, to the utterly normal and unexceptional. The media and the opposition political party (but I repeat myself) then totally over-react and hyperventilate. They take something bad and […]

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Gated Boomtowns

Policy Ideas for the Age of Automation, Part Two In this series, I have been considering what we can do to smooth the adjustment to a technological revolution in automation—but from the perspective of a skeptical free-marketer who doesn’t buy into ill-conceived utopian schemes like the basic income. In part one, I considered what policies […]

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Living in the World of Dynamite

Political violence has seemingly come back into fashion this year, in part because of the so-called “resistance” against President Trump—itself a metaphor for violent guerilla warfare, in the absence of an actual tyranny that requires resistance. But it’s not actual violence that is in vogue so much as fantasizing about violence. Just in the past […]

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Lighting Fires and Filling Buckets

Policy Ideas for the Age of Automation, Part One: Education Everyone is starting to become concerned that the machines are about to take away all of our jobs—at least, all of the jobs that we do now. Everything is on the chopping block to be automated, from flipping burgers to driving trucks to filing legal […]

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You Can’t Buy an Election

Of course Jon Ossoff didn’t win yesterday’s special election in Georgia’s 6th district. Heck, it wasn’t even all that close. Karen Handel beat him 52% to 48%, a few points better than Donald Trump did in the same district. This was predictable. Ossoff was born in the sixth district, but he had lived an awful […]

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Fear and Loathing in Charlottesville

The fight over confederate statues in my hometown of Charlottesville has some of the fighters feeling pretty traumatized. Here is Dahlia Lithwick, Slate’s Supreme Court commenter, who is also a local. My little city in central Virginia has become the stuff of reality TV…. Now, when we come to meet in our town square, we […]

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Seven Solutions Flying Cars Need (and One They Don’t)

Everyone’s very excited right now about “flying cars” because—hey, who wouldn’t be? It’s right up there at the top of the science fiction wish list, along with the robot servant who cleans your house for you. And now we’re being told pretty frequently that the flying car is on its way. But we’re not getting […]

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The Media Is Now Leaking Classified Information Just Because They Feel Like It

This morning, the New York Times brought us another breathtaking expose of classified national security information which is really important for the public to know because…um, well, because they just kind of felt like it. The story is about a contractor for an international shipping company who was captured and held hostage by rebels in […]

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