Excellent and opinionated essay on the state of reproducibility in social science, by one of our Replication Markets forecasters, after rating nearly 2,600 papers.
We won't know actual replication results for a bit, but many of the methodology observations stand, and are consilient with theoretical and empirical critiques from the 1950s.
Particular note: at the start, we asked for priors: our forecasters thought the replicability would improve steadily from 2009 to 2018. Summing over ratings of individual papers, there is no expected improvement with time - though all years are at the high end of initial expectations.
Look, Iran is not my expertise, but although the article says makes good points - there really is a hard line anti West power block since 1979, and maybe the assassination will yield fruit where other things fail - it engages in false dichotomy, false unity, and curious omission.
The regime is hardly monolithic: there are fiercely competing centers of power, Hard liner and holocaust denier Ahmadinejad eventually gave way to the more moderate pro West Rouhani.
Some in US government tried to strengthen Rouhani; others took their own hard line and ended up strengthening the Iran hard liners. Obama may have been over eager but he seemed to strengthen the moderates, and the change in nuclear stance was driven by new intelligence in what methodologists see as surprisingly good analysis/ belief revision - unlike say Iraq WMD. (On the genesis of that policy, Bolton seems to have been not just wrong but willfully and deliberately so.)
Also, Iran’s behavior is hardly surprising. Given the list of grievances the author acknowledges - and curiously omitted, the US toppling a popular democratically elected government and installing a much hated dictator, directly leading to the 1979 revolution - it’s more of a wonder that many Iranians seem relatively positive.
It may also help to stop thinking of Iran as an upstart Third World country. The Iranian taxi drivers and hairdressers in my area off the US – refugees from 1979– refer to themselves as Persians.
"Eventually I concluded that language was bigger than the universe."
A fun, pithy, sharp-edged take on the empiricist vs. Platonist debate, coming down firmly with the empiricists, but - surprisingly - by actually engaging with the philosophy. It leads with a compelling example where I think all readers would have to concede a point, if not yet the match.
I doubt his claim that mathematicians are non-Platonists these days. Maybe? Physicist-mathematicians, particularly of the Feynman bent, probably mostly. And famously, Bohr tried to squash "metaphysical itches" that would derail physicists from actually doing quantum mechanics. But I suspect plenty are tempted to Platonism by "the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics". This is, however, an empirical question, so the author and I can settle it. I'll bet a beer/tea/coffee.
I expected the "don't like philosophy BUT DO IT ANYWAY" to get into why scientists deriding philosophy are often guilty of doing philosophy, and badly - echoes of "in the thrall of some defunct economist". But if he considers that at all, he sweeps it up with the Humean admission of practicality.
But again, it's a gem -a well-informed, well-written, philosophical critique of philosophy.
Or at least Platonism - but the rest is just footnotes, no?
If he's saving 99% of his income, he's refusing to spend on far more substantial expenses than coffee. As advice, it's disingenuous. Sure, he could save $1500 on coffee. That's noticeable, and a great example of his frugal mindset, his $220K / month income does far more of the work.
Harriot vividly depicts the very real systemic disadvantages he and many face. But where he takes opposition to the 2011 Buttigieg quote, I read it as a shorthand for his points, and not, as Harriot reads it, some prescription for simple panaceas.
Of course Buttigieg doesn't really know what it was like to grow up poor and black. Neither do I. But I'm not sure Harrit correctly reads the motive or meaning behind that one sentence quotation.