The Properties of Property and the Reality of Reality

I was talking yesterday to a friend about my concerns regarding assertions of absolute private “property rights” over stuff taken out of the public domain. My friend, an architect by training, is vehemently opposed to anything that remotely resembles a restraint on commerce and wealth accumulation. She describes herself as “nearly objectivist.” She says she…

A New Uncertainty Principle: Some Uncertainty In Your Principles Is Good

The world is on the brink of economic – and perhaps ecological – disaster. Instead of looking at the possibilities with some humility, there are people, with real power, raring to push their long-beloved ideologies harder than ever.I want to make a humble plea: stop being so certain about everything. About ten years ago I…

Circumstantial Evidence: a review of Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers – The Story of Success

Malcolm Gladwell takes an engaging and colorful stab at what may be one of the biggest hoaxes of all time: the myth of the self-made success. It’s so entrenched in the popular imagination that Jeb Bush can get away with claiming to be a “self-made man.” According to Gladwell, however, it’s a person’s circumstances –…