Monthly Archives: February 2011

Captured in Passing: Riverside Park, NY

My photo, taken last April Advertisements

Posted in Pictures | 1 Comment

Lonely in California

To wrap up this mini-series of historical essays I’ve written, I’m putting one up about the social atmosphere of the California Gold Rush. It’s probably underappreciated how lonely and scary this trek was; menĀ streamedĀ in from all corners of the globe, … Continue reading

Posted in History | Leave a comment

Uncertainty and Identity in the Early American West

What I guess is second in a series, here’s an essay I wrote about the interesting identity crisis faced by a lot of the settlers of the early American West. I think I make a little too much of it … Continue reading

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Religious Rhetoric and Zero-Sum Games in Puritan New England

Robert Wright presents an interesting thesis in The Evolution of God: the Abrahamic religions have traditions for both amiable and antagonistic relations with other groups; the amiable traditions are put into play when the groups can mutually benefit from the … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Economics, History | Leave a comment

Two Responses to Egypt

The news that Mubarak is, at long last, stepping down as Egyptian president has sparked responses from jubilation to fear. I think one of the wisest responses has been Chris Blattman’s, who wrote: Five years from now, there will either … Continue reading

Posted in History, Politics | Leave a comment

Incentives Matter, even (especially) during a revolution

As everyone’s been following the Egyptian revolution knows, one of the (to novices) surprising elements has been the passivity of the military, which has basically stood aside as the Egyptian protesters took over Cairo and Alexandria. They did apparently try … Continue reading

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Why nominal changes have real effects

Matt Ygelsias does a good job explaining in pretty simple terms why some recent evidence suggests that the cause of the current crisis is the fall in aggregate demand: If low aggregate demand is at the root of our problems, … Continue reading

Posted in Economics | 1 Comment